Emma Langley wins 2nd consecutive Joe Martin TT
‘It was really hard but that’s how it’s supposed to be’
On a muggy Arkansas afternoon, Emma Langley claimed her second consecutive time trial win at the Joe Martin Stage Race and moved into the GC lead.
The 5-kilometer time trial was set in scenic Devil’s Den State Park. The course, which was identical to 2021, had a 5% average elevation gain. Conditions were wet and humid as Emma rolled down the start ramp.
“It was really hard but that’s how it’s supposed to be so I’m really, really happy with the day,” Emma says. “I was nervous but excited. I won this time trial last year and it was hard but I knew what to expect and I actually felt maybe a little better going into it this time so I was hoping to put together a good day but still everything needs to fall into place so I’m really excited that it did.”
This is Emma’s third time racing the Joe Martin Stage race and she was familiar with the time trial course. She says that knowing the route so well, “definitely helped with pacing. It’s steep at the beginning but then actually steeper at the top of the climb before going down. Last year I went out way too hard, guns ablazing, so I knew to be a little more conservative the first part of the climb, really kick over the top, and then from there you go down and last push to the finish.”
“I was feeling fast which is always a good feeling and that gives you extra motivation too,” says Emma. Despite racing on rain-slicked roads after morning showers, her time was two seconds faster than her 2021 win.
Rachel Hedderman, General Manager and sports director for EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, knew that today’s time trial would be crucial. “The first two stages were really about setting up the GC,” she says. “We wanted to make sure we put ourselves in a really good position going into today so that what happened could happen. I knew that we have a strong team here and with Emma winning last year, we knew she could do a good time on the course. It’s one thing knowing it can happen and it’s another for the rider to actually be able to pull it off. Today was super good.”
“I was feeling fast which is always a good feeling and that gives you extra motivation too.”
Going into tomorrow’s criterium, Hedderman says, “Emma has enough of a lead that it’s definitely defendable. Obviously it’s bike racing and anything can happen but we’re in a good position going into tomorrow.”
After today’s win, Emma and her teammates are looking forward to Sunday’s final stage. “I have a little cushion,” she says, “but we still have to bring our A game to defend the jersey tomorrow and I’m really excited to do so.”
How to watch: GCN+ will have live coverage of the stage 4 crit beginning at 4pm EST on May 22