Monday, August 13, 2012

Tour of Utah

A tough day when you names like this DNF!

DNFTyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Sharp
DNFDavid Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Sharp
DNFThomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack-Nissan
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos - Shimano
DNFFlavio De Luna (Mex) Team Spidertech p/b C10
DNFRobert Forster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
DNFJacobe Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
DNFChris Barton (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
DNFSebastian Salas (Can) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies

Only three hours of racing, just two categorized climbs, and a short 76-mile loop might seem like an easy way to end a six-day stage race. Unless you’re racing the Tour of Utah. Then you’d better change up the gear on your bike and get ready to suffer.

Today’s race started with a difficult category three climb featuring a 22% grade. Next up was the beyond category climb over Empire Pass, which Team Exergy Director Tad Hamilton described as the toughest climb the team has seen all year. That such a tough climb should come on the heels of yesterday’s Queen’s Stage into Snowbird only added to the challenge of the day.

It was fitting that defending Tour of Utah champion Levi Leipheimer, who suggested today’s route to race organizers in the first place, flew out of the peloton on that final, brutal climb for a solo win in Park City. Joining him on the podium were Rabobank’s Steven Kruijswijk in second and Team NetApp’s Leopold Koenig in third. BMC’s Johann Tschopp remained in yellow, with Bissell’s Ben Jacques-Maynes as the overall King of the Mountain winner, and Michael Matthews winning the Sprinter’s Jersey.

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