photo credit @ Tour of Utah/Twitter
United HealthCare’s Kiel Reijnen claimed the opening stage of this year’sTour of Utah, after nixing Alex Howes (Team Cannondale -Garmin) and Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) in a sprint finish in St. Charles today.
The start line in Logan, Utah was sodden, and the riders faced a long uphill drag for the first 56-km before descending to cross the Idaho border and circle Bear Lake. A seven-man breakaway consisting of Pro Continental and Continental riders slipped away a couple of kilometres after the gun. The septet rolled up a maximum 14:50 gap over the Cannondale-Garmin-driven peloton.Greg Daniel (USA/Axeon) crested the Cat. 3 first climb of the day in the lead and also took the two intermediate sprints on the course.
Meanwhile, the first of two women’s races was taking place in Logan’s pouring rain. A crit in the city saw Allie Dragoo of TeamTwenty16 scoot away from the others to pick up a $100 prime and then stay away for several laps to seize the win.
The men’s breakaway began to fragment as it started the Cat. 2 climb–the descent it had dropped earlier–with a 6:00 lead. Daniel, Johann Van Zyl (South Africa/MTN-Qhubeka) and Emerson Oronte (USA/Team SmartStop) opened a gap on the others, with Daniel again taking the KOM points.
The trio had a long, gradual descent to the finish. With 40-km to go they had a 5:00 gap over the Bardiani-CSF-led peloton, and 12-km later held 3:30. Inside 10-km Oronto faded back and with 5-km remaining Daniel and Van Zyl got three reinforcements from the looming peloton–Reijnen, Phinney and Alex Howes (USA/Cannondale-Garmin).
That quintet sprinted it out, with Reijnen nipping Howes, and Phinney marking his return in emphatic fashion with third.
Tuesday’s second stage travels from Tremonton to Ogdon, where the cyclists will navigate three finishing circuits.
Stage 1 Results
USA 1 REIJNEN, Kiel (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) 5:09:02
USA 2 HOWES, Alex (TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN)
USA 3 PHINNEY, Taylor (BMC RACING)
USA 4 DANIEL, Gregory (AXEON CYCLING TEAM)
RSA 5 VAN ZYL, Johann (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 2
USA 6 YOUNG, Eric (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) + 4
ITA 7 COLBRELLI, Sonny (BARDIANI CSF)
COL 8 MOLANO, Sebastián (COLOMBIA)
USA 9 MAGNER, Tyler (HINCAPIE RACING TEAM)
ARG 10 HAEDO, Lucas Sebastian (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN)
NED 11 WIPPERT, Wouter (DRAPAC)
POR 12 SILVESTRE, Fabio (TREK FACTORY RACING)
USA 13 MURPHY, John (UNITEDHEALTHCARE)
COL 14 AVILA VANEGAS, Edwin Alcibiades (COLOMBIA)
USA 15 OWEN, Logan (AXEON CYCLING TEAM)
General Classification after Stage 1
USA 1 REIJNEN, Kiel (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) 5:08:52
USA 2 HOWES, Alex (TEAM CANNONDALE – GARMIN) + 4
USA 3 PHINNEY, Taylor (BMC RACING) + 6
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