Flaharty and Button win stage two of Tour of Fairbanks

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 17:59 -- jcook

NORTH POLE-Today cyclists from all over the state and a couple from the lower 48 continued the Tour of Fairbanks in stages 3 and 4 for the Steese Time Trial and Steese Road Race. Tomorrow they'll complete the final stage from Silver Gulch for the Wickersham Dome Race.

But yesterday they got a Tour of North Pole in stage two-the Speedway Criterium at the North Pole Speedway.

We'll start with the women's Criterium which was small just four cyclists but Maddie Button pushed the right ones in a tough race as she finished in first after 30 minutes and a two lap final sprint. Alisabeth Thurston Hicks who set the initial pace finished second.

Button is a former cross country skier and runner from Lathrop high school and is currently on Colorado State's club cycling team.

"It definitely make it a little tougher where-yeah, you can't just sit in the back for the whole race you have to take your turn. Otherwise that's just bad cycling etiquette," Button said. "[You] try to recover as much as you can then if you see a point where people are tired and you feel strong you should go for it. Go for the sprint."

In the men's division Tyson Flaharty of Goldstream Sports won the first stage which was a time trial and it carried over onto the racetrack. He finished first after 45 minutes and a two lap final sprint to win stage two holding of Tom Peichel on the final lap. Tim Paige who came up from San Diego finished third.

Now last year Flaharty made up ground to win the Tour. This year he is the clear front runner with a smaller field of cyclists so he has the target on him. But Flaharty likes it that way.

"It definitely makes it a little easier," Flaharty said. "I know I've been riding pretty well this year so I think it's-I should be pretty solid the next three stages. You can always try to get people tired when you go hard so kind of think about the next couple of days and see if we can tire people out a little bit."

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