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Morton climbs to Utah victory on Empire Pass

PARK CITY, Utah (VN) — Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly) dropped his rivals on the slopes of Empire Pass and then plummeted to the finish line in Park City to win the final stage and overall at the Tour of Utah.

Morton’s attack at the base of the 3,211-foot climb erased a 22-second gap to overnight leader Andrew Talansky (Cannondale – Drapac), who slipped from first to third overall. Axeon Hagens Berman rider Adrien Costa finished second on the stage and moved up to second overall, while BMC’s Darwin Atapuma crossed the line third, good enough for fourth on GC.

Stage 7, top 10

  • 1. Lachlan David MORTON, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, in 3:08:07
  • 2. Adrien COSTA, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at :31
  • 3. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :50
  • 4. Andrew TALANSKY, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:51
  • 5. Joseph Lloyd DOMBROWSKI, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:53
  • 6. Rob BRITTON, RALLY CYCLING, at 2:03
  • 7. Manuel SENNI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 2:35
  • 8. Laurent DIDIER, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 3:15
  • 9. Joseph ROSSKOPF, BMC RACING TEAM, at 3:36
  • 10. Alberto BETTIOL, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 3:49

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Lachlan David MORTON, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, in 27:12:49
  • 2. Adrien COSTA, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 1:09
  • 3. Andrew TALANSKY, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:39
  • 4. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:57
  • 5. Rob BRITTON, RALLY CYCLING, at 4:00
  • 6. Joseph ROSSKOPF, BMC RACING TEAM, at 5:59
  • 7. Taylor EISENHART, BMC RACING TEAM, at 6:52
  • 8. Joseph Lloyd DOMBROWSKI, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 7:16
  • 9. Robbie SQUIRE, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 8:38
  • 10. Laurent DIDIER, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 8:38

As he rode up the final 500-meter ascent in downtown Park City, Morton pumped his fist jubilantly, before collapsing into the arms of his soigneur after the finish line. After the stage, Morton said he expended all of his energy on Empire Pass.

“I’ve never really gone that deep before — I thought I was actually going to die there for a second,” Morton said. “I had my eyes closed for an extended period of time [on Empire Pass].”

Morton initially took the GC lead at the end of the third stage, but lost control of the jersey to Talansky on the slopes of Little Cottonwood Canyon during Saturday’s stage 6. Morton admitted he had hesitated when Talansky attacked up the 10-kilometer (six-mile) climb.

At the start line of Sunday’s stage 7, sitting at 22 seconds down on the overall leaderboard, Morton said his goal was to go for broke on Empire Pass.

“It means risking my spot on the podium,” Morton said before the stage. “Second would be nice. A win is why we’re here.”

Morton nearly missed his chance at a showdown on Empire Pass entirely. Midway through the 125km loop around Park City, BMC rider Joey Rosskopf attacked over the top of the Wolf Creek Ranches climb, drawing out Talansky and Costa. Morton and Rally cycling’s Rob Britton hesitated as the three rode away.

As the trio widened the gap, a driving rainstorm blew in for the descent. The peloton slowed on the twisting downhill, as rain pelted the riders and the road.

At the base of the descent, Britton sent Rally riders Danny Pate and Emerson Oronte on the front. He also called back teammate Evan Huffman from the day’s breakaway to pull. Morton had his brother, Angus, also drop back from the break to aid in the chase alongside Taylor Shelden.

“It was WorldTour vs. Continental the entire week — today was no different,” Britton said. “The level of domestic riders at this race showed.”

The chase group eventually reeled in the three on the run-in to the final climb. As the diminished group hit the base of the climb, Morton jumped clear away. Costa eventually attacked out of the group with Atapuma.

Behind, Talansky rode on the wheel of his teammate Joe Dombrowski, with Britton in tow.

After finishing, Talansky said his breakaway with Costa had little impact on his ride up Empire Pass. Talansky said Morton was simply too strong.

“[Empire] was not my finest moment,” Talansky said.

Morton’s victory represents a milestone for Continental teams at major American UCI stage races. Morton’s win is the first by a Continental-level rider at the Tour of Utah since the race began inviting WorldTour teams starting in 2010. And no Continental rider has won the Amgen Tour of California or USA Pro Cycling Challenge. WorldTour riders won all three editions of the Tour of Missouri (2007-2009), and four of five editions of the Tour de Georgia.

Jelly Belly director Danny Van Haute said Morton’s victory is the biggest win in the team’s 16-year history.

“Continental team beating all of these WorldTour teams? I don’t even know what to say,” Van Haute said. “It’s the top of the barrel for us.”

For Morton, the win marks a bookend to a disappointing two-year span. After winning a stage of the 2013 Tour of Utah, Morton suffered through a forgettable 2014 campaign, parting ways with Garmin and the WorldTour at the end of the season.

In 2015 he joined Jelly Belly, and began clawing his way back up the standings at major stage races, such as the Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin Stage Race. This year, Morton has been forthcoming with his quest to rejoin the WorldTour ranks.

Morton choked up as he addressed the crowd in downtown Park City, as he recounted his emotions over the stage’s final 200 meters.

“I just thought of the people who supported me when things weren’t good,” Morton said, referencing his parents, his wife, his brother, and Van Haute. “To get back to this top step is very special.”

Stage 7 results

  • 1. Lachlan David MORTON, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, in 3:08:07
  • 2. Adrien COSTA, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at :31
  • 3. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, BMC RACING TEAM, at :50
  • 4. Andrew TALANSKY, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:51
  • 5. Joseph Lloyd DOMBROWSKI, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:53
  • 6. Rob BRITTON, RALLY CYCLING, at 2:03
  • 7. Manuel SENNI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 2:35
  • 8. Laurent DIDIER, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 3:15
  • 9. Joseph ROSSKOPF, BMC RACING TEAM, at 3:36
  • 10. Alberto BETTIOL, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 3:49
  • 11. Robbie SQUIRE, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 3:51
  • 12. Taylor EISENHART, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:02
  • 13. Riccardo ZOIDL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 4:08
  • 14. Tao GEOGHEGAN HART, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 4:12
  • 15. Dylan TEUNS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 4:59
  • 16. Janez BRAJKOVIC, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 4:59
  • 17. Hayden MCCORMICK, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 6:08
  • 18. Alex HOWES, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 6:30
  • 19. Julien BERNARD, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 6:30
  • 20. Frédéric BRUN, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 6:32
  • 21. Julien LOUBET, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 6:34
  • 22. Christopher HORNER, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 6:38
  • 23. Jonathan CLARKE, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 6:38
  • 24. Eddie DUNBAR, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 7:07
  • 25. Lawrence WARBASSE, IAM CYCLING, at 9:11
  • 26. Brayan Stiven SANCHEZ VERGARA, TEAM JAMIS, at 9:29
  • 27. Benjamin KING, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 9:37
  • 28. Bryan LEWIS, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 9:37
  • 29. Joseph CHAVARRIA, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 9:39
  • 30. Nicolae TANOVITCHII, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 9:46
  • 31. Javier MEGIAS LEAL, TEAM NOVO NORDISK, at 10:08
  • 32. David DROUIN, SILBER PRO CYCLING, at 10:11
  • 33. Christopher JONES, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 10:54
  • 34. Damiano CUNEGO, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 11:15
  • 35. Dion SMITH, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 12:53
  • 36. Chad BEYER, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 12:53
  • 37. Robin CARPENTER, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 13:06
  • 38. Simon PELLAUD, IAM CYCLING, at 13:30
  • 39. Marcel AREGGER, IAM CYCLING, at 13:30
  • 40. Jonathan DIBBEN, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 13:57
  • 41. Jean-Marc BIDEAU, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 14:22
  • 42. Thomas VAUBOURZEIX, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 14:22
  • 43. Elie GESBERT, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 14:33
  • 44. Matthew BUSCHE, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 14:39
  • 45. Javier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE, TEAM JAMIS, at 16:02
  • 46. Krists NEILANDS, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 17:42
  • 47. Andzs FLAKSIS, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 17:42
  • 48. Neilson POWLESS, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 17:42
  • 49. Andrei KRASILNIKAU, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 17:42
  • 50. Ruben COMPANIONI, TEAM JAMIS, at 17:42
  • 51. Jacopo MOSCA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 17:42
  • 52. Marco CANOLA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 17:42
  • 53. Nicolas MASBOURIAN, SILBER PRO CYCLING, at 17:42
  • 54. Alexander CATAFORD, SILBER PRO CYCLING, at 17:42
  • 55. Steven TRONET, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 17:42
  • 56. Jonathan FUMEAUX, IAM CYCLING, at 17:42
  • 57. Angus MORTON, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, at 18:52
  • 58. Kiel REIJNEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 18:52
  • 59. Logan OWEN, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 18:52
  • 60. Matthieu JEANNES, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 19:18
  • 61. Rick ZABEL, BMC RACING TEAM, at 22:10
  • 62. Iuri FILOSI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 22:10
  • 63. Tom BOHLI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 22:10
  • 64. Fabian LIENHARD, BMC RACING TEAM, at 22:10
  • 65. Nicola BAGIOLI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 22:10
  • 66. Alessandro BISOLTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 22:10
  • 67. Evan HUFFMAN, RALLY CYCLING, at 22:10
  • 68. Tanner PUTT, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 22:10
  • 69. Danny PATE, RALLY CYCLING, at 22:10
  • 70. Lucas Sebastian HAEDO, TEAM JAMIS, at 22:10
  • 71. Colin JOYCE, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 22:20
  • 72. Francis MOUREY, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 22:24
  • 73. Emerson ORONTE, RALLY CYCLING, at 23:07
  • 74. Barry MILLER, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 23:19
  • 75. James ORAM, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 25:01
  • 76. Richard HANDLEY, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 25:01
  • 77. Phillip GAIMON, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 25:01
  • 78. Taylor SHELDON, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, at 25:01
  • 79. Pierrick NAUD, RALLY CYCLING, at 25:01
  • 80. Alexandr BRAICO, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, at 25:13
  • 81. Stephen CLANCY, TEAM NOVO NORDISK, at 25:45
  • 82. Stephen BASSETT, TEAM JAMIS, at 25:55
  • 83. Daniel EATON, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 26:05
  • 84. Gerd DE KEIJZER, TEAM NOVO NORDISK, at 26:09
  • 85. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 26:09
  • 86. Travis MCCABE, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 26:16
  • 87. Ulises Alfredo CASTILLO SOTO, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, at 26:26
  • 88. Eric YOUNG, RALLY CYCLING, at 26:27
  • 89. Kyle MURPHY, TEAM JAMIS, at 26:27
  • 90. Daniel Alexander JARAMILLO DIEZ, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 26:32
  • 91. David GAONA VAZQUEZ, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 26:44
  • DNF David TANNER, IAM CYCLING
  • DNF Peter STETINA, TREK – SEGAFREDO
  • DNF Kevin LEDANOIS, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT
  • DNF Joseph LEWIS, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR
  • DNF Eric MARCOTTE, TEAM JAMIS
  • DNF Luis ROMERO AMARAN, TEAM JAMIS
  • DNF Jordan CHEYNE, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS
  • DNF Joshua BERRY, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS
  • DNF Jacob RATHE, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS
  • DNF Adam DE VOS, RALLY CYCLING
  • DNF Kris DAHL, SILBER PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Matteo DAL-CIN, SILBER PRO CYCLING
  • DNF Ryan ROTH, SILBER PRO CYCLING

General classification

  • 1. Lachlan David MORTON, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, in 27:12:49
  • 2. Adrien COSTA, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 1:09
  • 3. Andrew TALANSKY, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:39
  • 4. Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:57
  • 5. Rob BRITTON, RALLY CYCLING, at 4:00
  • 6. Joseph ROSSKOPF, BMC RACING TEAM, at 5:59
  • 7. Taylor EISENHART, BMC RACING TEAM, at 6:52
  • 8. Joseph Lloyd DOMBROWSKI, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 7:16
  • 9. Robbie SQUIRE, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 8:38
  • 10. Laurent DIDIER, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 8:38
  • 11. Manuel SENNI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 9:00
  • 12. Tao GEOGHEGAN HART, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 10:36
  • 13. Janez BRAJKOVIC, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 10:57
  • 14. Jonathan CLARKE, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 13:18
  • 15. Christopher HORNER, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 14:01
  • 16. Dylan TEUNS, BMC RACING TEAM, at 14:10
  • 17. Julien LOUBET, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 15:07
  • 18. Riccardo ZOIDL, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 17:36
  • 19. Eddie DUNBAR, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 17:46
  • 20. Nicolae TANOVITCHII, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 19:01
  • 21. Alex HOWES, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 19:29
  • 22. Julien BERNARD, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 19:53
  • 23. Hayden MCCORMICK, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 21:27
  • 24. Lawrence WARBASSE, IAM CYCLING, at 22:39
  • 25. Joseph CHAVARRIA, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 24:04
  • 26. Robin CARPENTER, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 24:23
  • 27. Chad BEYER, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 28:06
  • 28. Benjamin KING, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 28:36
  • 29. Damiano CUNEGO, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 32:06
  • 30. Angus MORTON, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, at 34:03
  • 31. David DROUIN, SILBER PRO CYCLING, at 34:19
  • 32. Javier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE, TEAM JAMIS, at 36:40
  • 33. Neilson POWLESS, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 38:49
  • 34. Matthew BUSCHE, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 40:31
  • 35. Simon PELLAUD, IAM CYCLING, at 40:53
  • 36. Alberto BETTIOL, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 43:21
  • 37. Javier MEGIAS LEAL, TEAM NOVO NORDISK, at 44:35
  • 38. Kiel REIJNEN, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 45:02
  • 39. Jacopo MOSCA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 46:53
  • 40. Brayan Stiven SANCHEZ VERGARA, TEAM JAMIS, at 48:28
  • 41. Jean-Marc BIDEAU, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 49:23
  • 42. Emerson ORONTE, RALLY CYCLING, at 50:22
  • 43. Daniel Alexander JARAMILLO DIEZ, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 50:22
  • 44. Alexander CATAFORD, SILBER PRO CYCLING, at 51:05
  • 45. Elie GESBERT, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 51:08
  • 46. Evan HUFFMAN, RALLY CYCLING, at 53:35
  • 47. Christopher JONES, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 54:32
  • 48. Taylor SHELDON, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, at 57:19
  • 49. Logan OWEN, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 58:11
  • 50. Jonathan FUMEAUX, IAM CYCLING, at 58:20
  • 51. Marco CANOLA, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 58:47
  • 52. Bryan LEWIS, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 59:32
  • 53. Alessandro BISOLTI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:00:30
  • 54. Rick ZABEL, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:01:53
  • 55. Frédéric BRUN, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:05:07
  • 56. Andrei KRASILNIKAU, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 1:06:02
  • 57. Krists NEILANDS, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 1:06:48
  • 58. Dion SMITH, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 1:07:13
  • 59. Nicola BAGIOLI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:08:07
  • 60. Ruben COMPANIONI, TEAM JAMIS, at 1:09:07
  • 61. Marcel AREGGER, IAM CYCLING, at 1:12:41
  • 62. Barry MILLER, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 1:13:15
  • 63. Travis MCCABE, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 1:13:37
  • 64. Andzs FLAKSIS, HOLOWESKO / CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR, at 1:16:11
  • 65. Thomas VAUBOURZEIX, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 1:16:29
  • 66. Daniel EATON, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:17:51
  • 67. Fabian LIENHARD, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:19:48
  • 68. Colin JOYCE, AXEON – HAGENS BERMAN, at 1:20:30
  • 69. Steven TRONET, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:20:49
  • 70. Lucas Sebastian HAEDO, TEAM JAMIS, at 1:20:52
  • 71. Tanner PUTT, UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at 1:21:30
  • 72. Matthieu JEANNES, LUPUS RACING TEAM, at 1:22:44
  • 73. Francis MOUREY, FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT, at 1:23:01
  • 74. Tom BOHLI, BMC RACING TEAM, at 1:23:36
  • 75. Stephen BASSETT, TEAM JAMIS, at 1:24:21
  • 76. Jonathan DIBBEN, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:24:34
  • 77. Phillip GAIMON, CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM, at 1:25:30
  • 78. Nicolas MASBOURIAN, SILBER PRO CYCLING, at 1:28:36
  • 79. Iuri FILOSI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:30:11
  • 80. Alexandr BRAICO, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, at 1:33:19
  • 81. Pier Paolo DE NEGRI, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:35:45
  • 82. Danny PATE, RALLY CYCLING, at 1:36:43
  • 83. David GAONA VAZQUEZ, NIPPO – VINI FANTINI, at 1:36:48
  • 84. Ulises Alfredo CASTILLO SOTO, JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS, at 1:37:03
  • 85. Pierrick NAUD, RALLY CYCLING, at 1:40:35
  • 86. James ORAM, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 1:41:04
  • 87. Richard HANDLEY, ONE PRO CYCLING, at 1:41:05
  • 88. Stephen CLANCY, TEAM NOVO NORDISK, at 1:55:35
  • 89. Kyle MURPHY, TEAM JAMIS, at 1:56:01
  • 90. Eric YOUNG, RALLY CYCLING, at 1:58:43
  • 91. Gerd DE KEIJZER, TEAM NOVO NORDISK, at 2:02:05

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