Jeff Louder wins on his mountain at Utah

Posted on 16. Aug, 2008 by in race

The contenders duked it out in the final climb of the Queen stage at the Tour of Utah. Before the stage, 13 riders were separated by 38 seconds in the general classification but after slogging it over 14,778 feet (4,504 m) of climbing over a 98-mile (159 km) road race, the race now comes down to 2 pretenders to the title.

Utah native Jeff Louder (BMC) was triumphant in front of a home crowd and crossed the line first, pointing in pride at his jersey. Yellow jersey Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle) crossed the line in second place, 13 seconds back. With time bonuses on the line, Caldwell now has a 7-second buffer over Louder going into the final stage, a relatively flat 12-mile (19.3 km) out and back time trial that starts and finishes at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele.

On paper, Louder has the advantage but the race of truth will decide the overall winner.

Early on in the stage, a break of seven riders was off, and Brad White (Successful Living) went on his 3 break of the race, making sure to garner enough sprint points to win the green jersey. His breakmates were quite happy to let him get the points.

“I asked them, do you guys mind if I go for the points, they said no, not at all, they joked about it for awhile but no one really cared.” said White who consolidated his lead and wins the green jersey.
The break was off under the impetus of Mike Creed (Rock Racing) who did a lion share of the pulling.  But with a few riders not rolling though, the break was doomed, and on the HC climb up Alpine Loop, it disintegrated when Creed attacked and went for it. (Sorry folks no pics as I was not in a media car today).
Everyone in the breakaway, except for Creed, was caught with 1 K to go from the summit. Creed crossed the top first and KOM Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1) jumped from the select group of chasers down to about 30 riders to take the second spot in the KOM and nail his KOM jersey.
After the sketchy descent off of Alpine, the lead group of 30 riders was all together. 
“The descent I heard was scary so I just took it pretty easy going that and it was, it was kind of scary descent. One of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever seen, unbelievable.” said White. 

The attacks fired on the bottom of the last climb with Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) launching the first bullet.  Chadwick took advantage of the BMC and Garmin teams used their numbers to chase each other down and not only chased down Sevilla but went straight passed him. And behind the duo, Burke Swindlerhurst (Bissell) and Chris Baldwin (Toyota-United)  were surging and accelerating, hitting each other and everyone else to try and shatter the legs. Caldwell jumped across to Chadwick and kept on going.

Meanwhile, Louder kept on his tempo, using his knowledge of the mountain and of himself to keep the pace high and slowly reel and pass everyone to make it first to the finish line.

“I was just trying to mark Sevilla. I made the jump to get up to Chadwick, I still felt good so kept it going but the climb is unrelenting, the last 5k seemed like forever, it was just a little too long, by the time that Louder caught me I was already on my limit, he had more in the tank there in the last kilometer.” said Caldwell. 

Caldwell finishes second but retains his yellow jersey

Chadwick came in third place, at 25 seconds behind.

Burke Swindlehurst (Bissell) was fourth; Chris Baldwin (Toyota-United) was fifth

Brent Bookwalter (BMC) had a great ride and finished in sixth place

The race now comes down to a short time-trial, where teammates are of no use, man against man, Louder vs Caldwell, Caldwell vs Louder. We’ll know tomorrow.

BMC’s Scott Nydam who crashed and broke his collarbone was providing some insight on the finish line with the announcers, and he informed us that he’d already had his operation.

More photos here

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One Response to “Jeff Louder wins on his mountain at Utah”

  1. steephill

    17. Aug, 2008

    With so little coverage of the Tour of Utah, your reports with photos are appreciated. Do you know why there has been no live coverage of any sort? Seems a waste that cyclingnews is covering the event but aren’t providing live text coverage? In fact, it is well into Sunday morning and they have nothing on stage 4 posted yet. Too bad, seems like a well designed parcours with an exciting upcoming TT finish. Has anybody been shooting video for a video recap?

    Results that stick out today:
    - 15th Thomas Danielson 4:17 back. (still not 100%?)
    – 36th James Mattis 13:31 back (not bad for a guy with a full-time job)
    - Lots of DNF and Missed Time Cuts. (Indicative of a hard stage?)
    - Rock Racing underperformed.