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New Zealand cyclists Jesse Sergent and Cath Cheatley continued to ride prominently in BMC Cascade Cycling Classic in Oregon today.
Cheatley is in second place overall after two stages following her encouraging eighth in today’s individual time trial, while Sergent placed second in another strong performance.
Cheatley, riding for her US-based Colavita Baci pro team, followed her win in yesterday’s first stage with a solid effort in the 26km time trial to finish 1min 48sec behind winner Erinne Willock (USA).
US champion Mara Abbott was nine seconds behind the winner to take over as the leader on general classification.
It was another excellent day for the New Zealanders with 2009 world pursuit champion Alison Shanks (BikeNZ) fifth, Rushlee Buchanan (Colavita Baci) ninth and Jo Kiesanowski (Team Tibco) 27th.
Cheatley is now 1min 13sec behind Abbott but will look forward to tomorrow’s 113km stage in the Deshutes National Forest with a mountain top finish at Mt Bachelor Ski Resort.
Sergent, world champion pursuit silver medallist, followed his win in the prologue with an excellent performance in the time trial, finishing 15 seconds behind in-form Ben Day (Australia).
“I felt pretty good. It was definitely the kind of course you have to suffer on, especially with the uphill on the way out and then just trying to turn over the gear on the way back really makes it pretty hard,” said Sergent.
“It was pretty hard out there as well, so it was definitely a tough day.”
US-based kiwi Jeremy Vennell (Team Bissell) showed his time trial skills to finish fourth fastest and is the highest place New Zealander in fifth overall, 1min 23sec behind the leader Rory Sutherland (USA).