Utah native Jeff Louder (BMC) triumphed on the Queen Stage at the Tour of Utah, in front of an appreciative and supportive crowd. It was man against man in the final climb on the brutal 98-mile (159 km) stage and Louder came out on top, and moved up to second place on GC, a scant seven seconds behind Blake Cadwell (Garmin-Chipotle).
I caught up with Jeff to get his thoughts after his win.
Talk about the win today.
Jeff: I’ve had this race in the back of my mind all week, I wanted to win it, I didn’t know if I cold, I really put a lot of faith in my teammates all week, they rode their guts out all week, they’ve been doing exactly what I wanted them to do, it’s a shame that Lill had to lose his position, but its a consolation to get the win and move up to second, a real close to winning the overall.
Who has the advantage for the time trial tomorrow?
Jeff: The time trial, I think it’s an advantage to me over Caldwell, he’s riding really well, it’s for me to win, I got to make up some time, he’s still got a good advantage and it’s a short time trial and he’s obviously riding very well, I got to recover, and the stronger guy will win tomorrow, it’s the race of truth so I just have to recover tonight and go all out for fifteen minutes tomorrow.
During your training week, did you go train on the motorpark?
Jeff: No I haven’t ridden on that track, it’s hard to get on it, we raced on it two years ago an that’s all I’ve ever done on it. I’ve watched some car and motorcycle racing on it.
Will that help?
Jeff: (laughs) I don’t know, if I can go as fast as those guys it might help.
Take me through the last climb. Which teammates did you have with you
Jeff: [Brent] Bookwalter, [Darren] Lill and [Jonathan] Garcia, and actually Ian [McKissick] did a great job right on the bottom, [Oscar] Sevilla attacked and Ian brought it back just before the beginning of the climb. I still had Bookwalter and Lill there, and we were riding for Lill, I would have liked to seen him ride into the jersey today, he had a good shot, but that climb is so hard, you can’t help anybody on that thing. If you can’t follow there’s not much you can do except push somebody to get them up there, there’s just no rest, there’s no recovery. It was up to each of us, everybody, individuals to ride their own pace and ride what they could do.
The team rode amazing all week, it’s to me tomorrow, it’s up to each person because it’s a time trial but up to this point, I’m just really proud of my team, proud of BMC. I’d like to thank Gavin Chilcott because he is kind of the mastermind for our training camp here, training specifically for this race. Obviously, it’s paid off, it’s just amazing, it’s a great feeling, I’m really, really proud to win for the team because those guys at every race we do, they get better and it’s motivated me. They get better and I feel that they’re making me better, that makes me proud to be able to win for them
Did you try to chase Glen Chadwick [Chaddy] down when he jumped on the last climb?
Jeff: Chaddy went early, he actually went where took me out of the race last time, and I knew that and I saw him do that and … deja vu all over again, I had to collect myself and realize that I couldn’t take myself out trying to go after him, I’ve learned since then how to ride this climb a bit better, training on it last week, we raced up it a few times, Darren and I raced it up together, that teaches you something and I realized how to get the best of myself on this climb. I just let Chadwick go, I got dropped probably eight, nine times by Burke [Swindlehurst] and [Chris] Baldwin, they were kind of accelerating, hitting each other and hitting me at the bottom and then when [Blake] Caldwell went, he went straight up to Chadwick, like he just bounced across and then I thought ‘okay well that guy he deserves to win, he’s riding so well’. Then I just found my own tempo after Tanners Flat, just kept turning it up, turning it up, I’ve ridden this enough times this year specially to realize what the landmarks are and where I can get the best performance out of myself. I just did that, I ramped it up, ramped it up and once I got to the first entry here at Snowbird, I know that I had a chance, I’ve timed that, it’s 500 meters and I knew that I could do 500 meters all out and I did.