After finishing second in 2018, Ben Hermans (BEL) of Israel Cycling Academy held the leader’s yellow jersey for the last four days to win the Tour of Utah crown. Past overall champion Joe Dombrowski (USA) of EF Education First won Stage 6 in Park City and finished third overall. James Piccoli (CAN) of Elevate-KHS nipped at Hermans’ heels all week before finishing second. EF Education First won the overall team championship with only five riders.
Joe Dombrowski made it back-to-back wins for EF Education First Pro Cycling when he soloed across the Tour of Utah stage six finish line in Park City on Sunday. His bold ride afforded him a two-spot general classification gain, enough to snag the final spot on the overall podium. Dombrowski didn’t celebrate alone. He was joined on stage by all of his teammates to accept the prize for team classification. It was an undeniably successful day to close out the seven-day American stage race. “The team has been great this week,” said Dombrowski. “From Lawson [Craddock] in yellow early on to Lachlan’s win yesterday and my win today, it’s been a satisfying week – and we had lots of fun along the way, too.” Dombrowksi had his eye on stage six from the outset. A former Tour of Utah overall winner, Dombrowski knew the stage’s decisive climb, Empire Pass, better than most in the bunch. Having arrived in Park City a week before the race start, he spent ample time training on the eight-kilometer climb. “I wanted to try to win the stage today,” said Dombrowski. “I know Empire. The bottom of the climb is steep and consistent, and the latter part is rolling. I wanted to make the selection at the bottom, but I wasn’t able to go alone. Rather than pulling on the flats, I went easier and allowed some guys to come back, and then planned to hit them hard a couple of kilometers from the top.” It was a plan perfectly executed. Dombrowski accelerated two kilometers from the top of Empire Pass and opened up a 25-second lead before the summit. “If you have a gap on the decent, normally you can keep it to the line,” said Dombrowski. Ever understated, he added: “It worked out.”
Dombrowski is no stranger to the Tour of Utah podium. He won the final stage of Tour of Utah, and with it the general classification, in 2015.
“Any victory is always nice,” said Dombrowski. “It was a great way to camp off a great week from everyone on the team.” “I was really happy to see Joe win a stage at Utah,” said EF Education First Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He’s a hard worker, a sharp guy and a determined rider. I’m proud of the way the team raced these past few days. It’s a testament to the work they’ve each put in and the team spirit everyone has created and embraced.”
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