After 131 miles of racing today at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, one bike length was the only advantage Orica-GreenEDGE’s Michael Matthews needed to win Stage Two presented by Utah Office of Tourism. Finishing in a little over 5 hours and 17 minutes, the Australian sprinter slipped into the Larry H. Miller Leader’s yellow jersey in the process.
Matthews survived the longest day of the Tour of Utah and outsprinted BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium) in the shadows of Capitol Reef National Park. Matthews took full advantage of the time bonus given the stage winner and now has a one-second advantage for the General Classification lead. Bontrager Cycling Team’s Jasper Stuyven finished third on the stage.
“It’s definitely been a long process this year, I haven’t had a win yet, I’ve had lots of seconds,” Matthews said at the post-race press conference in Torrey. “It was really a goal for me to come into this Tour with good form and hopefully keep building up through it.”
Martin Wesemann (South Africa) of MTN Qhubeka and Michael Hepburn (Australia) of Orica-GreenEDGE were allowed to escape from the peloton early after the start in Panguitch. The two built a sizable lead of nearly eight minutes before beginning a relentless ascent of Boulder Mountain. “It’s impossible not to notice the mountain and the scenery, it’s amazing,” noted Wesemann.
Andzs Flaksis (Latvia) of Bontrager Cycling Team attacked at the summit of Boulder Mountain for the Ski Utah King of the Mountain points. Team Garmin-Sharp’s Dave Zabriskie (USA) attacked at the three kilometer marker and was caught with 1,000 meters to go. From there, the teams lined up their sprint trains and set the stage for the exciting finish in Torrey.
Bissell Pro Cycling’s Michael Torckler (New Zealand) retained the Ski Utah King of the Mountain jersey and Hincapie Sportswear Development’s Ty Magner (USA) earned the Subaru Best Young Rider for a second day. Though Matthews leads the XO Communications Sprint points race, Van Avermaet will wear the purple jersey on Thursday, swapping jerseys and position in the points classification with the new race leader. Wesemann, the last man standing from the early breakaway, was awarded the Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey.
Thursday is Stage Three presented by iON Camera, a 119-mile ride from Richfield to Payson. Even with 6,202 feet of climbing, the stage has rolling sections through the Seveir and Sanpete valleys before launching into a rugged climb over the Mount Nebo summit. Stage Two will begin at 10:50 a.m. MT. The peloton is expected to finish at approximately 3:45 p.m. MT.
Top 10 – GENERAL CLASSIFICATION following Stage 2 presented by Utah Office of Tourism
1. MATTHEWS Michael (AUS) Orica GreenEdge 9:28:39
2. VAN AVERMAET Greg (BEL) BMC Racing Team 9:28:40
3. JONES Christopher (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 9:28:50
4. MAGNER Tyler (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development 9:28:52
5. STUYVEN Jasper (BEL) Bontrager Cycling Team 9:28:52
6. JENKINS Max (USA) 5-hour Energy/Kenda 9:28:55
7. MACHADO Tiago (POR) RadioShack Leopard Trek 9:28:55
8. REIJNEN Kiel (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 9:28:56
9. KOCH Michael (GER) Cannondale Pro Cycling 9:28:56
10. BEYER Chad (USA) Champion System Pro Cycling 9:28:56
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