After working hard in two breaks, David Tanner (Fly V Australia) outsprinted Alex Dowsett (Trek-Livestrong) for the win in the tough stage 1 at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The pair had flown away from a break on Emigration Canyon.
“I had good legs, I was feeling really strong.” said Tanner. “I cooperated with him and rode with him in the last 10 miles and luckily I had the legs to finish it off in the sprint.”
“David did a lot of work early, and then Dowsett came across to him and then Dowsett did quite a lot of work. We didn’t really start riding until 10 k to the finish. He had a massive day, he was in every breakaway and managed to win and make it look easy, he’s pretty good at that.” said Fly V Australia DS Henk Vogels.
Second on the prologue, Dowsett was thinking about the leader’s jersey more than the stage win. “I was more concerned about yellow, I know Dave quite well. I didn’t fancy my chances at the finish anyway, the yellow was more a priority if I could squeeze a couple of seconds.”
Javier Megias Leal (Team Type 1) won the field sprint, out of a group of about 50 riders, for third place.
The Trek-Livestrong squad did keep the yellow AT&T Leader’s Jersey in the family with Dowsett taking over from prologue winner Taylor Phinney
Attack, re-shuffle and go again. That was the story for the 85.2 miles (137.1 km) stage 1 p/b University of Utah Health Care. And heat, it was a hot one out there. Oh and altitude.
“It was a pretty brutal stage, we covered 90 miles in 3 hours 20 minutes. Pretty much on the throttle all day, there were groups attacking, being brought back, re-formed and go again. I don’t think that there was any time during the day when the group wasn’t motoring. ” said Burke Swindlehurst (KFAN Composite Team).
In the shuffle and re-shuffle, Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL), Chad Beyer (BMC), Brad White and Morgan Schmitt (UnitedHealthcare), Andrei Krasilnikay and Rob Squire (Holowesko Partners), Phinney and his teammates Julian Kyer and Joe Dombrowski and Annibal Borrajo (Jamis/Sutter Home) tried their hands, or rather legs, at getting something off the front. But nothing was sticking.
The first split happened on the Big Basin climb for the first KOM. “There was a pretty big split of all the favorites, the climbers over Snow Basic. Mancebo put in a pretty good dig, and we all watched each other and a group split away.” explained Jeff Louder (BMC).
That dig was on the climb to the first KOM where Kyer took top points, followed by Schmitt, Dowsett, Alex Hagman (On the Rivet p/b Ion), Francisco Mancebo (Canyon Bicycles) and Cesar Grajales (On the Rivet p/b Ion).
“Myself and Julian Kyer in the first break.” said Dowsett. “Just made sure that he took the KOM points, because he’s a better climber than I am, which we did. We got swallowed by what was left of the field.”
Immediately, a 16-rider group was off. It included Kyer, Tanner and his teammate Jay Thomson, BISSELL duo of Ben Jacques-Maynes and Rob Britton, Caleb Fairly (Holowesko Partners) and one teammate, Valery Kobzarenko, Chris Jones and Davide Frattini, of Team Type 1, Sam Johnson (Hagens Berman), Max Jenkins and Chris Baldwin of UnitedHealthcare, Tyler Wren (Jamis/Sutter Home) and Chad Beyer (BMC).
One team that missed the split was Canyon Bicycles, team of defending champion Mancebo. He made it clear to his boys that they had to chase.
“We got put in a bad spot within the two climbs, a breakaway go away that we really didn’t like and had to spend a lot of time chasing at the front to make sure we got it back. And we got it back just it took a little bit out of us today but we’ll back out ready tomorrow.” said Mike Olheiser (Canyon Bicycles).
The gap went all the way to over two minutes. “Actually, Mancebo got his boys, the local boys up there and they chased hard. That was impressive.” said Swindlehurst.
As soon as the break was reeled in, more re-shuffling and riders were off the front, some for the second time. Jacques-Maynes, Frattini and Tanner were off. Phil Gaimon (Kenda), Ben King (Trek-Livestrong) and Dowsett bridged up with about 10 km to the second KOM
“On the bottom of the climb, we were all rotating and Ben was doing some real big pulls.” said Dowsett.
“We started Big Mountain with about 2 minutes, we put Chad Beyer on the front and he rode down to a minute but no one else would step up and help. It wasn’t on BMC to do it alone, obviously a couple of teams had guys up there but there quite a few teams that didn’t have anybody.” said Louder.
With 5 km to go to the top, King and Jacques-Maynes faded back leaving four riders up the road with Dowsett and Gaimon doing a lot of work. “As we got further up, the Team Type 1 guy tailed off. On the descent, we dropped the Kenda guy and it was just me and Dave.” explained Dowsett.
The two riders worked together to stay ahead of the field. “We played a little bit of poker and we all lost. Once you go over Big Mountain, it’s amazing how hard it is to bring somebody back. It’s a long way.” said Louder.
The duo came in together for the 2-man sprint to the finish line.
Dowsett takes over the GC with 11 seconds on Tanner and 40 seconds on Brent Bookwalter (BMC). Then we have another 26 riders within one minute, including Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare), Louder and his teammate George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer (Mellow Johnny’s), Mancebo, Cesar Grajales (On the Rivet p/b Ion), Darren Lill (Fly V Australia), Paul Mach (BISSELL) and more. All this to say that the race is still wide open.
“This race will change many, many times.” said Vogels. “The only thing we didn’t want to do is give Dowsett one and half to two minutes because he can time trial, he’s probably the second best time trialist here and he can actually climb pretty well. I don’t think he will be in the first 10 tomorrow but you never know the kid’s got so much talent. ”
Tomorrow is another tough one. The 78.5 miles (126.3 km) Stage 2 Presented by Xango fromThanksgiving Point to Nebo. The route is a mostly flat course with the exception of a grueling 20 mile (32 km), with 4,554 ft. (1388 m) climb to the finish. The re-design stage takes the riders on the south approach of Mt Nebo, a much steeper climb than last year’s north approach.
“I just know it’s flat and then uphill, it’s good enough for me.” said a wry Dowsett when asked if he knew anything about the stage on Thursday.
“It’s 50 minutes at full speed, that’s a long time to be riding at threshold. ” said Swindlehurst about the final climb.
Watch Grajales who has been showing good form in both the TT and today’s stage. He’s sure to go for the stage win.
The racing starts at 10am MT with an estimated end time of 1:30pm. Follow @podium_live for live updates.
Dowsett also picks up the blue Powerade/vitaminwater Best Young Rider jersey and the polka dot Utah Toyota Dealers KOM jersey. Tanner gets the orange XO Communications Sprinter. Louder who finished in the main chase group, keeps the red Siegfried & Jensen Best Utah Rider jersey.
Top 10 Stage Results (Complete Results)
1. David Tanner (Fly V Australia) 3:22:15
2. Alex Dowsett (Trek-Livestrong) 3:22:17
3. Javier Megias Leal (Team Type 1) 3:22:41
4. Caleb Fairly (Team Holowesko Partners) st
5. Frank Pipp (BISSELL Pro Cycling Team) st
6. Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) st
7. Scott Stewart (Team Type 1)
8. George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team)
9. Tyler Wren (Jamis/Sutter Home)
10. Cesar Grajales (On the Rivet p/b Ion)
Top 10 GC After Stage 1 (Complete Results)
1. Alex Dowsett (Trek-Livestrong) 3:28:16
2. David Tanner (Fly V Australia) +0:11
3. Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team) +0:40
4. Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis) +0:41
5. Jeff Louder (BMC Racing Team) +0:44
6. George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team) +0:45
7. Levi Leipheimer (Mellow Johnny’s) +0:47
8. Francisco Mancebo (Canyon Bicycles) +0:48
9. Cesar Grajales (On the Rivet p/b Ion) +0:50
10. Jason Donald (Team Rio Grande) st