After a long, hot day in the saddle, on a route that featured two categorized climbs, Travis McCabe easily out-sprinted the peloton to win stage 1 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in Cedar City on Tuesday. It was the UnitedHealthcare rider’s third career win at the race. Ulises Castillo (Jelly Belly) was […]
After a long, hot day in the saddle, on a route that featured two categorized climbs, Travis McCabe easily out-sprinted the peloton to win stage 1 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in Cedar City on Tuesday. It was the UnitedHealthcare rider’s third career win at the race. Ulises Castillo (Jelly Belly) was second on the day, with Edwin Ávila (Israel Cycling Academy) rounding out the podium. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) retained the leader’s jersey, finishing in the same time as the field. McCabe moved into second overall after taking a time bonus at the line.
After a flurry of activity, the break of the day was established some 12 miles into the stage, and contained Evan Huffman (Rally), George Simpson (Elevate KHS), Daan Olivier (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Lionel Mawditt (Jelly Belly). The four stretched their lead to five minutes, where it held for much of the way up the 15-mile, 4,500-feet category 1 climb of Parowan Canyon. The climb took the riders to 10,600 feet, the highest elevation they’d reach all week. By the KOM point, near the ski resort town of Brian Head and Cedar Breaks National Monument, Huffman and Simpson lost contact due to the pace set by Olivier. Mawditt jumped ahead to grab the day’s first KOM points.
With 55 kilometers to go, Olivier dropped his breakaway companions. By then his lead was 2:30 over a charging peloton, led by BMC Racing. Olivier crested the second category 4 KOM point of the day alone, before starting the long descent toward Cedar City.
The peloton ate into Olivier’s lead as they dropped into the baking temperatures, and with 15 kilometers left to race, Luis Lemus (Israel Cycling ACademy) jumped across to the lone Dutchman to take the lead heading into the three finishing circuits around Cedar City.
BMC Racing and Jelly Belly massed at the head of the peloton to control Lemus’s lead. With 12 kilometers to go, the group was all back together.
With just over seven kilometers to the finish, Neilson Powless (LottoNL-Jumbo) aggressively attacked coming out of a corner and stunned the field. His lead grew to 10 seconds, then started to tumble down as he approached the finish line with one lap to go. Griffin Easter (303 Project) launched for the line, posting up, then realizing he had sprinted a lap early.
Next to attack was Ivan Santaromita (Nippo0Vini Fantini). He was quickly joined by Serghei Tvetcov (UnitedHealthcare), who was able to briefly gap the entire field. With one kilometer to go, it came back together again, and with 250 meters to the line, McCabe launched his sprint and easily distanced the rest of the field.
BMC Racing safely guided van Garderen through the fast, hectic finale, and he continues to lead the general classification, two seconds ahead of McCabe and four seconds in front of teammate, Rosskopf.
“It was a hard tempo today and I felt comfortable, but I don’t think I will really know where my form is until some of the other GC guys start making moves,” van Garderen said after the stage. “Then I will see how I respond to those.”
The 146-kilometer stage 2 of the Tour of Utah will see the riders tackle Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. The stage starts and finishes in Payson.