Fayetteville, AR - Rory Sutherland of the OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis came into the challenging final Stage criterium of the Joe Martin Stage Race with a nine-second lead over Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell). It was the same margin he held following Stage 2, thanks to the work of his teammates during a hectic Stage 3 on Saturday.
"The guys pulled it together and did their jobs again today," Sutherland said. "The were on the front from the get-go. They'd let little groups go, but kept everything under control."
For the second consecutive day, Bissell threw repeated attacks at Sutherland and his OUCH Pres ented by Maxxis teammates. "We did what we've done here the last two years," said Sutherland, who finished 7th in the final stage. "The other teams threw down again like yesterday, but the guys weathered it."
While Sutherland won last year's opening prologue and then held on for the three road stages, this year he finished 2nd by one second to Jacques-Maynes in the prologue. But he showed his versatility by taking 2nd in the sprint finish in Stage 2 to earn a 10-second time bonus and a nine-second lead in the general classification, which he and his teammates held to the end.
"It's a big win for the team and a big win for the organization," he added.
The win, in fact, is the fifth consecutive overall victory of Joe Martin for the organization.