Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda set a blistering pace in the Team Time Trial at Miller Motorsports Park and took a convincing victory in Stage Two presented by XO Communications at the 2012 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah today. With a winning time of 22 minutes, 35.33 seconds, the Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda squad moved American rider Christian Vande Velde into the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Overall Leader’s jersey, and placed three other teammates into the Top Five of the General Classification.
Rabobank Cycling Team posted the second fastest time, 33 seconds back, and RadioShack-Nissan-Trek was third, 38 seconds back. The “race of truth” was contested on the 4.5-mile state-of-the-art road racing facility in Tooele, Utah, with three full circuits for a final distance of 14.5 miles (21.75 kilometers). This was the first Team Time Trial at a North American UCI stage race since 2008.
“We know each other so well because we’ve been racing together for so long. It’s like I know what David (Zabriskie) is going to do, he knows what Tyler is going to do and we’re able to use that. We’ve been together for five years now. So we’re used to this,” Vande Velde said, attributing today’s success to the strength of the team and comparing it to a college sports team filled with seniors. “They (Larry H. Miller Group) have tried to make it America’s Toughest Stage Race and have done a great job.”
Following Stage Two presented by XO Communications, Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda holds the top four spots in the overall standings, with Vande Velde as G.C. leader with a time of 5 hours, 48 minutes, 16 seconds. He is followed by Tom Danielson (USA) and Dave Zabriskie (USA) with the same time, and Peter Stetina in fourth, 30 seconds back.
With Utah native Zabriskie, the reigning and eight-time U.S. Time Trial champion, taking the first wheel out of the starting gate and sprinter Tyler Farrar (USA) keeping the speed high headed into the first set of turns, Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda set a tempo that could not be matched.
“I don’t have to do much with so many experienced riders, such as Vande Velde and Zabriskie,“ said Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda team director Charlie Wegelius on planning a strategy for this specialized discipline. “You win a team time trial not by going extremely fast, but by never going slowly.”
Rory Sutherland (Australia), the leader after Stage One, slipped to 10th overall after his UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team finished fifth in the TTT, 53 seconds off the pace. Sutherland retained his XO Communications Sprint jersey based on his points lead following the opening stage.
Rabobank’s Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands) took advantage of his team’s second place finish to move into the Subaru Best Young Rider jersey, and is fifth overall, 33 seconds back. Bissell’s Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) keeps his Ski Utah King of the Mountains jersey and American Connor O’Leary of Bontrager Liverstrong remains in the Miller Lite Best Utah Rider jersey. American Jesse Anthony of Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies retains the Exergy Development Group Most Aggressive Rider jersey.
Thursday, August 9 is Stage Three presented by University of Utah Health Care. This is an 85.5-mile (137.6-kilometer) road race from Ogden to Salt Lake City with 7,134 feet of vertical gain. The course will cover much of the same course as the field encountered in Stage One, before making a right turn at East Canyon Reservoir. After heading over Big Mountain and down Emigration Canyon, the peloton finishes at the University of Utah Research Park. Action begins in Ogden at 12:10 p.m. with an estimated finish of 3:50 p.m.
Overall G.C. Standings – following Stage Two presented by XO Communications
1. VANDEVELDE Christian Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda 5.48’16″
2. DANIELSON Thomas Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda 5.48’16″
3. ZABRISKIE David Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda 5.48’16″
4. STETINA Peter Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda 5.48’46″
5. KELDERMAN Wilco Rabobank Cycling Team 5.48’49″
6. KRUIJSWIJK Steven Rabobank Cycling Team 5.48’49″
7. HORNER Christopher Radioshack-Nissan-Trek 5.48’54″
8. BUSCHE Matthew Radioshack-Nissan-Trek 5.48’54″
9. BENNETT George Radioshack-Nissan-Trek 5.48’54″
10. SUTHERLAND Rory UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 5.48’59″