The 28-year-old Hall outsprinted Alena Amialiusik after bridging to the Velocio-SRAM rider and her breakaway companion auren Komanski (Twenty16-ShoAir), who finished 3rd.
“It feels really good to wear this yellow jersey. I think there will be some good hard racing and it will be hard to defend this jersey. But we brought a really strong team, so hopefully we’ll go away with it.” - katie Hall, UnitedHealthcare.
The race cracked open on the first climb of the day when Canadadian National Team member Kirsti Lay and Great Britain paralympian Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi) eased away as the elevation increased.
Lay then fell off the pace but replaced by Canada National Team team-mate Allison Beveridge, but the new pairing were caught by the peloton after Storey had crested the climb at Spooner Lake to secure the mountains classification jersey.
A later eight-rider break stayed together until the final climb to Heavenly Mountain Resort where Hall, Amialiusik and Komanski contested the victory after after three hours and eleven minutes of racing.
Stage 1: 120km, South Lake Tahoe - Heavenly Mountain Resort
1 Katie Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare
2 Alena Amialiusik (BLR) Velocio-SRAM
3 Lauren Komanski (USA) Twenty16-Sho-Air