Team TIBCO's Tara Whitten won her second consecutive opening prologue at the Cascade Classic after taking the prologue of the Tour de Toona earlier this month.
Bend, OR - World Track Champion Tara Whitten of Team TIBCO/To the Top won her second consecutive opening prologue, this time powering to the win to open the Cascade Classic in Bend.
Riding her Reynolds-equipped Specialized Shiv, Whitten motored through the two-mile course in 3:52, besting her countrywoman and Canadian Time Trial Champion Clara Hughes by 0:03, with former World Time Trial Champion Kristin Armstrong in third on the same time.
"We knew after Toona that Tara was on excellent form," Team Directeur Sportif Lisa Hunt said. "She got second here last year, and this type of distance is her strength. I knew her biggest rivals would be Clara and probably Kristin. Pascale Schnider is the current Swiss TT and Road Champion, so I knew she would have a good ride, too." Schneider finished in 3:58.
"They changed the course a little bit this year," Hunt added. "It started in a totally different spot. I wouldn't say it was much more technical. It had a few more turns."
With such a short course, the time gaps were small as expected, with the top 10 all within a handful of seconds of each another.
"We came to this race to win, and we're off to a great start," Hunt said. "We have strong climbers here in Erinne (Willock) and Carmen (Small). Megan (Guarnier) is going well, too. It should be a good race."
The Classic continues Wednesday with the 73.5-mile McKenzie Pass Road Race.