Jonathan Clarke (Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling) managed to win stage 1 of the Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race with an amazing sprint. That is not all of the glory, his teammate Noah Granigan finished second and this increased the team’s rankings.
The cyclists from Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling got to share the podium with Tyler Stites (Project Echelon Racing) who managed to lead with the front trio group. After the race, feeling excited and motivated, Clarke expressed:
It’s mainly a young team. I’m the old statesman on the team, so it’s nice when I get a result and I watch how excited the young boys get to help me out and I think it’s also a good lesson for them in learning how to defend a race. So, we’re looking forward to tomorrow, but I think Noah is more our guy for the GC.
There was another rider in the chase group that did his best to surprise the audience, Sergio Henao a tenacious climber managed to grab the fourth position. Henao is a veteran of UAE Team Emirates and and Team SKY. He applied to be a part of Qhuheka-NextHash in 2021 but could not be drafted in as the team shut down in December of that same year.
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As expected from an opening stage, the circumstances here were completely different. The opening stage was sprawling over a massive distance of 191.5km and also had 2,079 metres of tough elevation. The higher temperature (31 degrees Celsius) devastated the whole Peloton, if this was not enough, the higher gusts in Fayetteville, Arkansas made the cyclists even more miserable.
The circumstances were so severe and dire that even Noah Granigan spoke out:
It was pretty windy all day. Headwind for the first half and then kind of as we made the turn into the crosswind, things started to get a little more aggressive.
It was a tailwind up Mount Gaylor, which made it pretty hard up the climb. And then we kicked things off over the top.
Next up for both Granigan and Clarke will be the race in Fayetteville, which will have a total distance of 181.5 kilometers with an elevation of 1863 meters. It will be tough surely, but hopes are high for Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling.
Featured Image Via YouTube/UHCprocycling