A valiant solo attack by Lachlan Morton (Australia) of Team Garmin-Sharp lasted nearly 25 miles from the slopes of Mount Nebo for a thrilling win on Stage Three presented by iON Camera today at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The victory put the 21-year-old in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships overall leader’s jersey.
Morton soloed away from a large chase group on the ascent of Mount Nebo, the highest and southernmost peak in the Wasatch Range and part of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. He tracked down a two-man breakaway just before the summit. Morton held off a hard-charging chase group down Payson Canyon to take control of the race in front of enthusiastic crowds in Payson. He crossed the finish line 34 seconds ahead of BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium), who won the sprint for second place. UnitedHealthcare’s Lucas Euser (USA) finished third.
“When you have an opportunity like that, you take it. I just put my head down and went as hard as I could,” Morton said of his attack up Mount Nebo. “I was just trying to get a win. The yellow jersey is a nice bonus, but we still have a lot of cards to play on our team. It puts me in a nice position and it puts the other guys in a nice position too; it’s an ideal scenario for us.”
The win gives Morton a 22-second General Classification (G.C.) lead over Van Avermaet. Euser now cracks the Top 10 and sits in third overall, 40 seconds back. The G.C. shuffled at the top of the standings, RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK’s Tiago Machado (Portugal) sits in fourth place at 43 seconds back, and a total of 14 riders are less than one minute from the yellow jersey.
Morton is also the Subaru Best Young Rider, but the jersey will be worn by Ehtiopia’s Tsabu Gebremaryam Grmay of MTN Qhubeka, who is in second place in that category. The Ski Utah King of the Mountain leader jersey still belongs to Bissell Pro Cycling’s Michael Torckler (New Zealand) and Van Avermaet is back in the XO Communications Sprint leader jersey. The Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey was awarded to 5-hour Energy presented by Kenda Racing Team’s James Stemper (USA).
This is the first time since 2010 that Mount Nebo has been part of Tour of Utah. The 11,928-foot peak sits inside the Uinta–Wasatch–Cache National Forest. Today’s route had the peloton summit the roadway at 9,300 feet, then descend 22 miles into the classic western town of Payson.
“This is an incredible race. We’re honored to host it and have the opportunity to have this level of riders going across the national forest and it’s an incredible opportunity to show off the recreational areas that kind of drive through the mountain and the spectacular scenery that exists along this course,” said the U.S. Forest Service’s Dave Whittekiend, Forest Supervisor in South Jordan, Utah.
Friday brings Stage Four presented by University of Utah Health Care to the heart of Salt Lake City. The five-lap, 33.8-mile course begins and ends at the Utah State Capitol, passes through Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood and down scenic South Temple Street. The 33.8-mile course is not flat, but has a total elevation gain of 3,500 feet, with the signature climb past the State Capitol and through City Creek Canyon. Huge crowds are expected along East Capitol Blvd and at Reservoir Park. Stage Four presented by University of Utah Health Care will begin at 5:30 p.m. MT, and finish close to 7 p.m. MT.
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 Courtesy Garmin-Sharp