Race Report
Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

Tour of Utah Prologue: James Piccoli takes first leader’s jersey

27-year-old Canadian Elevate-KHS rider is fastest on challenging 3.3-mile circuit at Snowbird Resort

James Piccoli snagged the first leader’s jersey at the 2019 Tour of Utah, topping a field of 113 riders at the seven-day race’s opening prologue at Snowbird Resort Monday. Piccoli (Elevate-KHS) stopped the clock in 8:37.59 at the end of the 3.3-mile test, with Lawson Craddock (EF Education First) 5.55 back in second, and Serghei Tvetcov (Worthy) third, a full 6 seconds behind.

“It was quite complicated with the altitude at Snowbird and the corners and the tricky up and down pacing strategy,” explained Piccoli of a circuit that never dipped below 8,000 feet. “I pre-rode it a couple of times, and every time got closer to what we wanted to do. Today, it ended up working out.

“I was just riding really hard. You don’t really have too much time to think if you’re having a good ride or not in such a short prologue. If it’s longer then you can use splits to pace yourself but today was really short and intense. I didn’t have a radio so I just wanted to survive and execute our strategy today and we did.”

Starting in one-minute increments, riders faced a string-and-balloon circuit with 656 feet of climbing that was essentially all up or down, with only minimal flat terrain. This resulted in nearly all the day’s starters choosing road bikes over traditional time trial machines, which also made team logistics easier, as they needed to bring less equipment.

The short route required equal parts climbing ability and descending prowess, as riders cranked out huge wattage numbers, and then dropped into super tucks, hitting speeds in excess of 50mph before having to negotiate a tight high speed turn on the run into the finish.

Kyle Murphy (Rally-UHC Cycling) was the first rider to go under the 9-minute mark, coming home in 8:49. That was enough to hold off the first of the race’s big names to start, as EF’s Joe Dombrowski was three seconds back in 8:52. Eventually Murphy settled for a solid fifth on the day, one spot back of fourth place finisher Joao Almeida (Hagens Berman Axeon), at 6.27.

A relative late-starter, Piccoli has in recent years blossomed into one of the top stage racers in the North American domestic racing scene. This year Piccoli has amassed a list of eye-popping results, including an overall victory at the Tour of the Gila, and second-place finishes at the Tour de Beauce and Joe Martin Stage Race. Now Piccoli heads into the Tour of Utah with high aspirations.

“I want to win the Tour of Utah,” Piccoli told VeloNews ahead of the race. “If I could have everything go [right], it would be to race in the WorldTour and race the Tour de France. I think I was built for it.”

All told, the 15th running of the 2.HC UCI-rated Tour of Utah will cover 477 miles with 37,882 feet of total elevation gain. The field consists of 17 teams made up of six to seven riders representing 24 countries. However, a few squads, including EF Education First, are racing shorthanded. The U.S.-based WorldTour squad lost pre-race favorite Daniel Martinez on the eve of the race due to illness. Martinez, fresh off his gold medal time trial performance at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, arrived in Salt Lake City fighting illness but was hoping the two off days would allow him time to recover. He was initially on the start list but later removed.

Two other EF riders, Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes, tuned up for Utah by taking a crack at last weekend’s Leadville Trail 100 MTB race, where they finished third and fifth respectively. Trek-Segafredo’s Peter Stetina also raced fat tires in Colorado, ending up fourth in a race that took top riders around 6.5 hours.

On Monday, Stetina was 15th at 0:21, Morton was 16th at 0:22, and Howes was 18th at 0:23, rounding out the would-be mountain biker results.

Last year’s Utah race winner Sepp Kuss did not return to Utah to defend his title, meaning that Belgian Ben Hermans (Israeli Cycling Academy) was the top returning finiser from a year ago. The 2018 GC runner-up ended day 1 of 2019 in 11th place, 0:18 behind Piccoli.

Next up at the Tour of Utah is stage 1’s 86.9-mile trek around North Logan City, which is located in northern Utah’s Cache Valley. The course traverses the western slopes of the Bear River Mountains and has 4,310 feet of total elevation gain. The peloton will make two circuits around Little Mountain, passing less than 10 miles south of the Idaho state line. Each circuit will include the first two King of the Mountain points opportunities.

After the final pass through Newton, the race will follow Sam Fellow Road to Airport Road and re-enter North Logan City for five finishing laps. Rolling in a clockwise direction, the bunch will pass the finish line area at Meadow View Park on each lap, which is 7.2 miles in length. The first of the five laps will feature the final Sprint and KOM points of the stage. Each trip around the circuit should take 15-18 minutes to complete, with the stage slated to end around 3:45 p.m. local time.

But it’s stage 2 that has Piccoli the most nervous.

“I think judging by the stages to come and some of the climbs that are planned for the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, I don’t think seven seconds is going to be the difference between winning and losing,” he said Monday. “I think it’s going to be minutes up Powder Mountain [at the end of stage 2]. But [today’s result is] a really great confidence boost to blow out the legs and show that we have form… Being able to wear the jersey is pretty special. We will cherish it as long as we can and fight on.”

The Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah Prologue Results

RankNameTeamTime
1PICCOLI JamesElevate - KHS Pro Cycling8:37
2CRADDOCK LawsonEF Education First0:06
3ȚVETCOV SergheiFloyd's Pro Cycling,,
4ALMEIDA JoãoHagens Berman Axeon,,
5MURPHY KyleRally UHC Cycling0:12
6MANNION GavinRally UHC Cycling0:15
7DOMBROWSKI JoeEF Education First,,
8BOIVIN GuillaumeIsrael Cycling Academy0:16
9SWIRBUL KeeganFloyd's Pro Cycling0:17
10MCCABE TravisFloyd's Pro Cycling,,
11HERMANS BenIsrael Cycling Academy0:18
12HOEHN AlexAevolo,,
13BASSETT StephenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis,,
14BRITTON RobRally UHC Cycling0:19
15STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo0:20
16MORTON LachlanEF Education First0:21
17VERMAERKE KevinHagens Berman Axeon0:22
18HOWES AlexEF Education First0:23
19BOWDEN ScottTeam BridgeLane0:24
20RHIM BrendanArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC0:27
21EASTER Griffin303Project,,
22HUFFMAN EvanRally UHC Cycling0:28
23EG NiklasTrek - Segafredo0:29
24BADILATTI MatteoIsrael Cycling Academy,,
25MCCORMICK HaydenTeam BridgeLane0:30
26SUNDERLAND DylanTeam BridgeLane0:31
27SAMUEL TravisDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:32
28ELLSAY NigelRally UHC Cycling0:33
29BASSETTI SamElevate - KHS Pro Cycling0:34
30COWAN AlexanderFloyd's Pro Cycling,,
31COOPER JosephTeam BridgeLane,,
32ÁVILA EdwinIsrael Cycling Academy,,
33QUINTANA DayerNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:35
34ANDERSON EdwardHagens Berman Axeon0:36
35DANIEL GregoryDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:37
36CHEYNE JordanElevate - KHS Pro Cycling,,
37ROJAS Gabriel FranciscoAevolo,,
38BRUNNER EricAevolo,,
39PUTT TannerArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC,,
40LOPEZ Juan PedroTrek - Segafredo,,
41SIMPSON GeorgeElevate - KHS Pro Cycling0:38
42SCHÖNBERGER SebastianNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:39
43WOLFE BenArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC0:40
44BOARDMAN SamuelWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis0:41
45EARLE NathanIsrael Cycling Academy,,
46LINDORFF TylerTeam BridgeLane,,
47FRAYRE EderDCBank Pro Cycling Team,,
48REVARD ThomasHagens Berman Axeon0:42
49EASTER Cullen303Project0:43
50MAGNER TyRally UHC Cycling0:44
51ORONTE EmersonRally UHC Cycling,,
52ALARCÓN PabloCanel's - Specialized0:45
53MARENGO UmbertoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM,,
54BONGIORNO Francesco ManuelNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:46
55ZACCANTI FilippoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè0:47
56YOUNG EricElevate - KHS Pro Cycling,,
57CLARKE JonathanFloyd's Pro Cycling,,
58REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo,,
59CASTILLO Ulises AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling,,
60VELASCO SimoneNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM,,
61HARPER ChrisTeam BridgeLane,,
62BAUER DominikDauner D&DQ-Akkon0:48
63GRANIGAN NoahFloyd's Pro Cycling0:49
64FLAKSIS AndžsArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC,,
65VOLLMER AndrewAevolo,,
66WHELAN JamesEF Education First0:50
67DAVIS ColeHagens Berman Axeon,,
68BACA Tony303Project,,
69CANOLA MarcoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè,,
70JEAN ÉmileFloyd's Pro Cycling0:51
71ZARDINI EdoardoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM,,
72ZIMMER MattDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:52
73RICE MichaelHagens Berman Axeon0:53
74SANTAROMITA IvanNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè,,
75STEPHENS Austin303Project,,
76OIEN JustinArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC0:54
77TOOVEY AydenTeam BridgeLane0:55
78MOSCA JacopoTrek - Segafredo0:56
79FIORELLI FilippoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè0:57
80EISENHART TaylorArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC,,
81THIBAULT Jean-DenisDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:58
82LONARDI GiovanniNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè0:59
83MCGILL ScottAevolo1:03
84DEBEAUMARCHÉ NicolasTrek - Segafredo,,
85NEWKIRK Isaiah303Project1:04
86PAVLIČ MarkoDCBank Pro Cycling Team,,
87FORTUNATO LorenzoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM,,
88SANTOS EfrénCanel's - Specialized1:05
89BICKMORE CadeAevolo,,
90FLAUTT OliverDauner D&DQ-Akkon,,
91SCHUNK ConorAevolo1:06
92DE LUNA Flavio303Project,,
93CORTE EduardoCanel's - Specialized,,
94PRADO Ignacio de JesúsCanel's - Specialized1:15
95THURAU SvenDauner D&DQ-Akkon1:16
96ROSS KentWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis,,
97FONT Bernat303Project,,
98HATSUYAMA ShoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè1:17
99CHANCE MaxxWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:19
100MAMOS PhilippDauner D&DQ-Akkon,,
101LARA FranciscoCanel's - Specialized1:20
102GULLICKSON Finn Wildlife Generation p/b Maxxis,,
103HEIDER ChristopherDauner D&DQ-Akkon1:21
104SCHREURS HamishIsrael Cycling Academy1:22
105SÁNCHEZ Óscar EduardoCanel's - Specialized1:23
106VODICKA CamdenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:24
107BRYON MiguelArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC1:25
108KIRBY QuintonWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:26
109LEPLINGARD AntoineDCBank Pro Cycling Team1:28
110NIV GuyIsrael Cycling Academy,,
111RODRÍGUEZ José AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling1:35
112HEMING MikaDauner D&DQ-Akkon1:36
113PALMA Leonel Canel's - Specialized,,
RankNameTeamTime
1PICCOLI JamesElevate - KHS Pro Cycling8:37
2CRADDOCK LawsonEF Education First0:06
3ȚVETCOV SergheiFloyd's Pro Cycling,,
4ALMEIDA JoãoHagens Berman Axeon,,
5MURPHY KyleRally UHC Cycling0:12
6MANNION GavinRally UHC Cycling0:15
7DOMBROWSKI JoeEF Education First,,
8BOIVIN GuillaumeIsrael Cycling Academy0:16
9SWIRBUL KeeganFloyd's Pro Cycling0:17
10MCCABE TravisFloyd's Pro Cycling,,
11HERMANS BenIsrael Cycling Academy0:18
12HOEHN AlexAevolo,,
13BASSETT StephenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis,,
14BRITTON RobRally UHC Cycling0:19
15STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo0:20
16MORTON LachlanEF Education First0:21
17VERMAERKE KevinHagens Berman Axeon0:22
18HOWES AlexEF Education First0:23
19BOWDEN ScottTeam BridgeLane0:24
20RHIM BrendanArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC0:27
21EASTER Griffin303Project,,
22HUFFMAN EvanRally UHC Cycling0:28
23EG NiklasTrek - Segafredo0:29
24BADILATTI MatteoIsrael Cycling Academy,,
25MCCORMICK HaydenTeam BridgeLane0:30
26SUNDERLAND DylanTeam BridgeLane0:31
27SAMUEL TravisDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:32
28ELLSAY NigelRally UHC Cycling0:33
29BASSETTI SamElevate - KHS Pro Cycling0:34
30COWAN AlexanderFloyd's Pro Cycling,,
31COOPER JosephTeam BridgeLane,,
32ÁVILA EdwinIsrael Cycling Academy,,
33QUINTANA DayerNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:35
34ANDERSON EdwardHagens Berman Axeon0:36
35DANIEL GregoryDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:37
36CHEYNE JordanElevate - KHS Pro Cycling,,
37ROJAS Gabriel FranciscoAevolo,,
38BRUNNER EricAevolo,,
39PUTT TannerArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC,,
40LOPEZ Juan PedroTrek - Segafredo,,
41SIMPSON GeorgeElevate - KHS Pro Cycling0:38
42SCHÖNBERGER SebastianNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:39
43WOLFE BenArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC0:40
44BOARDMAN SamuelWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis0:41
45EARLE NathanIsrael Cycling Academy,,
46LINDORFF TylerTeam BridgeLane,,
47FRAYRE EderDCBank Pro Cycling Team,,
48REVARD ThomasHagens Berman Axeon0:42
49EASTER Cullen303Project0:43
50MAGNER TyRally UHC Cycling0:44
51ORONTE EmersonRally UHC Cycling,,
52ALARCÓN PabloCanel's - Specialized0:45
53MARENGO UmbertoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM,,
54BONGIORNO Francesco ManuelNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:46
55ZACCANTI FilippoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè0:47
56YOUNG EricElevate - KHS Pro Cycling,,
57CLARKE JonathanFloyd's Pro Cycling,,
58REIJNEN KielTrek - Segafredo,,
59CASTILLO Ulises AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling,,
60VELASCO SimoneNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM,,
61HARPER ChrisTeam BridgeLane,,
62BAUER DominikDauner D&DQ-Akkon0:48
63GRANIGAN NoahFloyd's Pro Cycling0:49
64FLAKSIS AndžsArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC,,
65VOLLMER AndrewAevolo,,
66WHELAN JamesEF Education First0:50
67DAVIS ColeHagens Berman Axeon,,
68BACA Tony303Project,,
69CANOLA MarcoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè,,
70JEAN ÉmileFloyd's Pro Cycling0:51
71ZARDINI EdoardoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM,,
72ZIMMER MattDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:52
73RICE MichaelHagens Berman Axeon0:53
74SANTAROMITA IvanNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè,,
75STEPHENS Austin303Project,,
76OIEN JustinArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC0:54
77TOOVEY AydenTeam BridgeLane0:55
78MOSCA JacopoTrek - Segafredo0:56
79FIORELLI FilippoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè0:57
80EISENHART TaylorArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC,,
81THIBAULT Jean-DenisDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:58
82LONARDI GiovanniNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè0:59
83MCGILL ScottAevolo1:03
84DEBEAUMARCHÉ NicolasTrek - Segafredo,,
85NEWKIRK Isaiah303Project1:04
86PAVLIČ MarkoDCBank Pro Cycling Team,,
87FORTUNATO LorenzoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM,,
88SANTOS EfrénCanel's - Specialized1:05
89BICKMORE CadeAevolo,,
90FLAUTT OliverDauner D&DQ-Akkon,,
91SCHUNK ConorAevolo1:06
92DE LUNA Flavio303Project,,
93CORTE EduardoCanel's - Specialized,,
94PRADO Ignacio de JesúsCanel's - Specialized1:15
95THURAU SvenDauner D&DQ-Akkon1:16
96ROSS KentWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis,,
97FONT Bernat303Project,,
98HATSUYAMA ShoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè1:17
99CHANCE MaxxWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:19
100MAMOS PhilippDauner D&DQ-Akkon,,
101LARA FranciscoCanel's - Specialized1:20
102GULLICKSON Finn Wildlife Generation p/b Maxxis,,
103HEIDER ChristopherDauner D&DQ-Akkon1:21
104SCHREURS HamishIsrael Cycling Academy1:22
105SÁNCHEZ Óscar EduardoCanel's - Specialized1:23
106VODICKA CamdenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:24
107BRYON MiguelArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC1:25
108KIRBY QuintonWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:26
109LEPLINGARD AntoineDCBank Pro Cycling Team1:28
110NIV GuyIsrael Cycling Academy,,
111RODRÍGUEZ José AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling1:35
112HEMING MikaDauner D&DQ-Akkon1:36
113PALMA Leonel Canel's - Specialized,,
RankNameTeamTime
1ALMEIDA JoãoHagens Berman Axeon8:43
2HOEHN AlexAevolo0:12
3VERMAERKE KevinHagens Berman Axeon0:16
4ANDERSON EdwardHagens Berman Axeon0:30
5ROJAS Gabriel FranciscoAevolo0:31
6BRUNNER EricAevolo,,
7LOPEZ Juan PedroTrek - Segafredo,,
8LINDORFF TylerTeam BridgeLane0:35
9REVARD ThomasHagens Berman Axeon0:36
10BAUER DominikDauner D&DQ-Akkon0:42
11VOLLMER AndrewAevolo0:43
12DAVIS ColeHagens Berman Axeon0:44
13THIBAULT Jean-DenisDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:52
14MCGILL ScottAevolo0:57
15DEBEAUMARCHÉ NicolasTrek - Segafredo,,
16BICKMORE CadeAevolo0:59
17SCHUNK ConorAevolo1:00
18GULLICKSON Finn Wildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:14
19VODICKA CamdenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:18
20RODRÍGUEZ José AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling1:29
21HEMING MikaDauner D&DQ-Akkon1:30
22PALMA Leonel Canel's - Specialized,,
RankNameTime
1Floyd's Pro Cycling26:31
2EF Education First0:02
3Rally UHC Cycling0:06
4Israel Cycling Academy0:23
5Hagens Berman Axeon0:24
6Elevate - KHS Pro Cycling0:31
7Team BridgeLane0:45
8Trek - Segafredo0:46
9Aevolo0:52
10Arapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC1:04
11DCBank Pro Cycling Team1:10
12Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM1:19
13303Project1:20
14Wildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:35
15Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè1:50
16Canel's - Specialized2:16
17Dauner D&DQ-Akkon2:29

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.