By finishing three seconds behind stage winner Kirk O’Bee (Bissell Pro Cycling) and earning a five-second time bonus, Lill climbed to seventh overall. He and Team Type 1 teammate Michael Creed – who is in eighth place – are two of 14 riders still within a minute of race leader Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling).
Friday’s race began under partly sunny skies in Fitchburg, Mass., and ended in a total downpour. Lill and a half dozen others split from the pack near the halfway point of the 74.5-mile (120 km) race that featured an average speed of nearly 30 mph. Team Type 1 Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko said the rider from the Republic of South Africa was in a tough spot with O’Bee among the escapees.
“Darren did a lot of work while O’Bee had the advantage of being able to sit on since his teammate is the race leader,” Davidenko said. “The good thing is that the next race is on a pretty hard circuit and you never know how good the weather is going to be.”