But once the catch was made, there was little doubt who would be the man of the moment.
Ivan Dominguez blazed down the long finishing stretch lined by a massive crowd to score Rock Racing’s second stage win. Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita-Sutter Homes presented by Cooking Light) finished second and Andrew Pinfold (OUCH presented by Maxxis) was third.
Rock Racing’s Oscar Sevilla, who won Stage 2 to take the overall lead, retained his yellow jersey, as there was no change in the overall standings.
The victory is Dominguez’s first since joining the Rock Racing team earlier last month. But he is no stranger to winning in Bend. Two years ago, the Cuban-born, U.S. citizen won this same stage (racing for the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team) in a field sprint.
“The last win that I had was in Georgia (at the Tour de Georgia in April of 2008), so this feels great,” Dominguez said. “I like this sprint. It’s long – the way I like. I knew if I went with 300 meters to go that no one was going to pass me.”
Dominguez’s fast finish would not have been possible without the help of his Rock Racing teammates, who worked tirelessly to keep Kirk Carlsen (Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin), Michael Creed (Team Type 1), Russ Langley (Battley Harley-Davidson) and Jackson Stewart (BMC Pro Cycling) from stealing the win. The four came within 15 seconds of catching the back of the field at one point.
But Rock Racing teamed up with OUCH presented by Maxxis and the two teams traded pulls to shave seconds off the advantage each time around the six-tenths-of-a-mile (1 km) course after the four riders’ lead peaked at 60 seconds with 35 minutes left in the 90-minute race.
“I said to the guys to keep the break there,” Dominguez said. “I told them we had to take care of the jersey. Tomorrow’s another day. We didn’t need to kill it. That was good for us.”
Sunday’s final stage is the 83-mile 133 km) Awbrey Butte Circuit Race. Sevilla leads Jeff Louder (BMC) by 40 seconds. Rock Racing’s Francisco Mancebo is in third, 1:00 back of Sevilla. A third rider from Rock Racing, Victor Hugo Peña, is seventh, 1:54 behind.
General Classification After Stage 5 - Men
1. Oscar Sevilla Rivera (Rock Racing)
2. Jeff Louder (BMC Racing Tea)
3. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Rock Racing)
4. Ian Mckissick (BMC Racing Team)
5. Rory Sutherland OUCH presented by Maxxis)
6. Chris Baldwin (OUCH presented by Maxxis)
7. Victor Hugo Pena (Rock Racing)
8. Darren Lill (Team Type 1)
9. Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL Pro Cycling Team)
10. Matt Wilson (Team Type 1)
Youth Is Served
With much of the focus surrounding the precocious talents of Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders), who was still atop of the General Classification of the 30th Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic going into Saturday's Downtown Bend Criterium, it was easy to forget about all of the amazing talent within the Women's peloton.
Not to be overshadowed, Coryn Rivera (PROMAN Hit Squad) showed why she would also be a force to reckon with in the future. The 16-year-old Rivera, already a winner at this year's Manhattan Beach Grand Prix and San Rafael Twilight Criterium, would out kick Colavita's Tina Pic and Kristy Broun (Team Lip Smacker) to take the Downtown Bend Criterium.
Given the assembled field, this is undoubtedly Rivera's biggest win to date, and surprisingly all of it was done with junior gearing.
Stage 5 Results - Women
1. Coryn Rivera (USA) Proman Hit Squad
2. Tina Pic (USA) Colavita-Sutter Home
3. Kristy Broun (Aus) Lip Smackers
General Classification After Stage 5 - Women
1. Evelyn Stevens (Webcor Builders)
2. Amber Rais (Team TIBCO)
3. Alison Powers (Team Type 1)
4. Julie Beveridge (Team TIBCO)
5. Cath Cheatley (Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
6. Katharine Carroll (Team TIBCO)
7. Chrissy Ruiter (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team)
8. Jessica Phillips (Team Lip Smacker)
9. Alison Starnes (Team TIBCO)
10. Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO)