Natural Bridge, VA (April 28, 2007) In Stage Five of the Tour of Virginia, Ben Raby put the Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team, presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. on the podium with his third place finish in a tightly contested sprint finish.
For many, just completing the third consecutive 100+ mile day in Virginia hill country would be a challenge. Raby, however has been getting stronger with each passing day. This is important as Raby is using the event to hone his fitness in preparation for the upcoming Milk Ras – an eight day stage race around Ireland.
Despite cold, soggy conditions at the start, the sun shone on the Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team for most of the stage. Dan Timmerman instigated a break away with more than 60 miles to go until the finish. Working with two other riders, they grew the gap to more than three minutes over the field. The peloton’s closing speed proved too great for the break to stay away and Timmerman was caught less than two miles from the finish. The stage was set for the sprinters to take the finish.
While known best for his climbing abilities, Raby showed some fast-twitch action in the final meters of the race securing an impressive third place. When asked by the local media about his performance, Raby commented, “We’re all capable of getting a stage…sometimes you just need a little luck.”
Mark Walters continues to lead the team standing only 3 minutes off the general classification leader’s time. With Saturday afternoon’s Criterium and a final 100+ mile road race on Sunday, the strongmen will continue to rise through the ranks and the team remains optimistic for a strong showing in the final classification.