Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium) launched himself with little less than a kilometer to go and the BMC Racing Team found itself right where it was a year ago – atop the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah podium with the race’s overall leader. Van Avermaet’s attack on the final lap in Cedar City caught the peloton off guard as he powered away from the field to not only capture a solo victory in Stage One presented by Zions Bank, but also take the Larry H. Miller Dealerships leader’s jersey.
“I saw the finish yesterday and it wasn’t such a great finish for me because it was downhill. I thought guys like (Michael) Matthews could beat me. So I tried to do it differently and went in the last kilometer. It was already hard and I attacked. I came into the last corner with a gap and then I was just pedaling to finish. I’m happy that I won,” said Van Avermaet. The Belgian, who spent the last week in Park City acclimatizing to the altitude, is focusing on stage wins in his first appearance at the Tour of Utah.
Orica GREENEDGE’s Michael Matthews (Australia) and Hincapie Sportswear Development Team’s Tyler Magner (USA) rounded out the podium for Stage One presented by Zions Bank.
Christopher Jones (USA) and Michael Torckler (New Zealand) attacked early in the stage that started in Brian Head and spent most of the day off the front in a two-man breakaway. They built a lead that grew to nearly 10 minutes, before being caught with just a few miles to go in the 112-mile stage. Attacks flew at the front of the pack to the pleasure of an enthusiastic crowd lining the roads of the finishing circuit in Cedar City, known as Festival City.
Though the break didn’t last to the finish line, the riders were rewarded for their efforts. Torckler earned the Ski Utah King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey for his BISSELL Pro Cycling team and Jones, with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team, claimed the Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey.
Magner, the reigning USA U23 criterium champion, took possession of the Subaru Best Young Rider jersey for his efforts. Matthews will wear the XO Communications Sprint leader’s jersey, after piloting the field sprint behind Van Avermaet.
Van Avermaet is the race’s overall leader heading into Stage Two presented by the Utah Office of Tourism with Matthews second. Thanks to picking up a few sprint points during his time in the breakaway, Jones is third in the general classification standings also four second back, while Magner is fourth – six seconds behind Van Avermaet.
Wednesday is Stage Two presented by Utah Office of Tourism, the longest stage of the week. This 131-mile ride from Panguitch to Torrey rolls through southern Utah’s rural landscape. With 9,877 feet of climbing and scenic views from Bryce Canyon National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Stage Two will begin at 10 a.m. MT. The peloton is expected to finish at approximately 3:45 p.m. MT.
Top 10 – GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1. VAN AVERMAET Greg (BEL) BMC Racing Team 4:10:50
2. MATTHEWS Michael (AUS) Orica GreenEdge 4:10:54
3. JONES Christopher (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling 4:10:54
4. MAGNER Tyler * (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development 4:10:56
5. JENKINS Max (USA) 5-Hour Energy p/b Kenda Racing 4:10:59
6. MACHADO Tiago (POR) RadioShack Leopard Trek 4:10:59
7. YOUNG Eric (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 4:11:00
8. REIJNEN Kiel (USA) UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling 4:11:00
9. LEWIS Joseph (AUS) Hincapie Sportswear Development 4:11:00
10. STUYVEN Jasper * (BEL) Bontrager Cycling Team 4:11:00
Across the United States, FOX Sports Network (FSN) continues as the official U.S. broadcast partner for the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. All six days of programming on FSN will be produced in high definition. The live coverage on FSN is scheduled daily to coincide with race finishes and award ceremonies, 4-6 p.m. (ET) on August 6-8 and 10-11; 7-9 p.m. (ET) on August 9. A one-hour highlight program will be televised on FSN at 11 p.m. (local time).
In addition, live race coverage will also be available online and with mobile applications via Tour TrackerTM powered by Adobe®. At every turn, Tour Tracker will deliver cycling fans access to comprehensive live coverage including broadcast video, real-time GPS location, speed, slope and elevation data, and social media feeds. A portal for all Tour TrackerTM powered by Adobe® coverage will be available during race week at TourofUtah.com.
Photo Credit Jonathan Devich – EpicImages.us