KAPKA BUTTE SNO-PARK — Sara Bergen was wearing the green jersey as the sprint leader in the pro women’s Cascade Cycling Classic Friday.

So she figured maybe nobody would take her seriously as she launched an attack to go for the win on a fairly hard finishing climb in the Cascade Lakes Road Race, not exactly an ideal spot for a sprinter.

“I had a little bit of secret climber left in me,” Bergen said. “I didn’t want to leave it up to chance, so with about 400 meters left to go I let it loose. The green can be a bit deceiving. It’s kind of funny with a hilltop finish in green. They didn’t suspect me.”

Bergen, of Rally Cycling, surged to victory in the 89-mile stage in 3 hours, 55 minutes, 12 seconds. Kathryn Buss of Team Tibco was second, five seconds back, and Emma Grant of Colavita took third, also five seconds back.

Allie Dragoo of Sho-Air TWENTY20 retained the overall lead, and she has a 16-second lead on Sara Poidevin of Rally Cycling and a 44-second lead on teammate Jasmin Duehring.

“It was a long day for everyone out there,” said Bergen, 28 and of Vancouver, British Columbia. “I was definitely out there to support Kirsti (Lay, also of Rally) and Poidevin (for the overall).

“I’m definitely happy to put some time in for the team, and come into the crit (Saturday’s Downtown Twilight Criterium in Bend) with some strong legs. We knew we needed to keep the pressure high the whole stage, keep it moving and keep it hard for everybody.”

Dragoo finished 24 seconds behind Bergen in Friday’s stage and appeared a bit disappointed after the race, saying she felt that a large breakaway of riders had gotten a little too far ahead of the peloton.

“I was a little farther back than I wanted to be,” she said. “We kind of missed the break at first. We need to not let it get so far ahead, but my team did a really good job and I’m proud of them for working as hard as they did. I really want to keep working hard for them and win the (yellow) jersey for my team, because they worked really hard. I’m pretty confident we can keep it.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0318,

mmorical@bendbulletin.com

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