After losing the leader's jersey in yesterday's crit to sprinter ace Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home), Joanne Kiesanowski (Tibco) won the sprint to the top of the final climb and retook the lead at the Mt Hood Cycling Classic. On her heels at the finish line were Jeannie Longo , riding for the composite team River City Racing and Felicia Gomez (Aaron's).



"Just coming up the last time up the climb, there were lots of attacks, I was pretty much following making sure that I was always in the front selection, just riding top 5 all the way up the climb, just making sure that I was always make the front selection. Longo did an amazingly long leadout, she was extremely strong, I just managed to come around her." said Kiesanowski.



The Cooper Spur Circuit Race was the first test of the climbing legs for the riders, with 1750 feet of climbing for each 18.7-mile circuit. The women would face the climb up to the Cooper Spur Resort four times, as they navigated 3.5 loops around the circuit for a total of 66 miles.

The pace started off piano for the first lap, as the women were trying to conserve energy in temperatures overing around 80 degrees. Helen Kelly (Tibco) finally initiated the first break at around 17 miles into the race and managed to get a gap of about one minute before a reaction set in the field. After another 5 miles or so, three riders bridged to create a break of 4 women, Rebecca Larson (Aaron's), Kristin McGrath (Colavita/Sutter-Home) and Alison Shanks (Jazz Apple) joined Kelly.

The group established a gap of around one minute again, and the chase led by the Cheerwine team. Kelly dropped from the break, and it was only three up the road. The trio was caught, and the mail field was together on the final lap, preparing for the final uphill sprint to the finish line.

After attacking a few times on the false flat coming into the hill, Longo set a high tempo, and there was a flurry of attack on the final climb. Kiesanowski covered every move and crossed the line first, ahead of Longo and Gomez.

"A good finish, I'd had a mechanical earlier in the race, I expanded a fair bit of energy trying to get back on the pack, thankfully that all worked out. For me to win something like this, I need to get a jump, I'm pretty happy with something like this with the finish and how it went, obviously a win would be better but Joanne is an excellent sprinter." said Gomez.



"The team was just great today, covering all the breaks and making our own breaks as well, Helen initiated it being at the front, and it was great, we could just sit in there and play it easy, all the other girls, Victoria had a great ride today, was always covering moves, even attacking on the downhills, going on the front in the uphill. Rachel and Lauren just covering everything for me, so basically I just had to sit in and let my teammates do it for me." said Kiesanowski

The GC was changed once more, Kiesanowski is now the overall leader, thirteen seconds ahead of Best Young Rider Julie Beveridge (Aaron's) and fourteen seconds ahead of Gomez. Last year's winner Leah Goldstein (ValueAct) is sitting at 27 seconds behind the leader on the classification.

Bad luck for the Aaron's team today as Kristin Sanders crashed on the third QOM sprint, had to have stitches in her elbow, and suffered road rash. Sanders was only ten seconds behind the leader in the general classification at the beginning of the stage.

As in previous years, the decisive stages will be stage 3, 18.5-mile time trial with 2 categorized climbs and Saturday's tough 74 miles and 8000 feet of climbing stage.