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Baldwin nails SLC circuit as Louder holds Tour of Utah lead

Stage Five of the 2006 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah entertained an estimated crowd of 30,000 fans in downtown Salt Lake City, Friday night, as the Twinlab Circuit Race tested riders with six laps of a 6.3 mile course that included a very steep climb to the Utah State Capitol before plunging and twisting back to the wide avenues of downtown. A wide and slightly downhill finishing straight encouraged sprints and attacks, making for a very fast race, won by Toyota-United rider Chris Baldwin. The stage was slotted between two of the toughest climbing stages in American cycling, but was not the

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Stage Five of the 2006 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah entertained an estimated crowd of 30,000 fans in downtown Salt Lake City, Friday night, as the Twinlab Circuit Race tested riders with six laps of a 6.3 mile course that included a very steep climb to the Utah State Capitol before plunging and twisting back to the wide avenues of downtown.

A wide and slightly downhill finishing straight encouraged sprints and attacks, making for a very fast race, won by Toyota-United rider Chris Baldwin. The stage was slotted between two of the toughest climbing stages in American cycling, but was not the easy day riders had hoped for, with a steep climb at the circuit’s mid point, and a very fast descent to the Start/Finish area alongside the Delta Center, home of the Utah Jazz.

Baldwin got away on the third lap with a group of nine riders, including powerhouses Andrew Bajadali of the KJZZ composite team and Dominique Perras of Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada. The break eventually gained a minute on the main field as riders from HealthNet-Maxxis, the team of overall leader Jeff Louder and second place overall Scott Moninger, powered the chase. The break stayed away to the finish even after TIAA CREF and Team Navigators joined the chase.

Indecision in the main field slowed the chase on lap five, and by the time the chase was resumed by HealthNet-Maxxis, the break could not to be caught as U.S. National Time Trial Champion Baldwin rode to the front and powered to the finish for the win. Second place went to Jacob Erker of Team Symmetrics, who sprinted just ahead of third place finisher Daniel Ramsey of Team Successfulliving.com.

The chase by HealthNet-Maxxis was sufficient to preserve the overall lead of Salt Lake City resident Jeff Louder, who maintained a two second lead over teammate Scott Moninger, and a 23 second margin over third place overall Glen Chadwick of Team Navigators. Remaining in fourth is another Salt Lake City native and Team Navigators rider, Burke Swindlehurst, who is 52 seconds behind Louder. Completing the top five is U.S. National Road Champion, Toyota-United rider Chris Wherry.

Saturday’s Stage Six Snowbird Road Race is the signature stage of the 2006 Tour of Utah with 114 miles and three major mountain climbs, beginning in Deer Valley, climbing the Alpine Loop, Suncrest Ridge and Little Cottonwood Canyon to finish at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.

Jersey competitions results remained the same after Stage Five. In Saturday’s Stage Six, the last and toughest stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Louder will wear the race leader’s yellow jersey, Moninger the King of the Mountains jersey, and Lagutin will wear the Sprint Leader’s jersey and is also leading in the Best Young Rider competition.