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Dombrowski returns to Utah to defend title

Joe Dombrowski returns to Utah to defend his title at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. But a strong contingent of climbers will challenge him.

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After the biggest win of his young career in the 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Joe Dombrowski will be back in the Beehive State next week to defend his title.

Cannondale – Drapac’s 25-year-old climber is keen to return to the race, and will use it as a stepping-stone to the Vuelta a España, as he did last season. “I’m looking forward to coming back to the Tour of Utah and hopefully successfully defending my title. It’s a beautiful state and a beautiful race, and I have fond memories there,” he said.

The 705-mile, seven day race — a climber-friendly route, as usual — will welcome a number of challengers as well.

Also hailing from a U.S.-registered WorldTour team, Darwin Atapuma of BMC Racing may pose a threat to Dombrowski this year. His Colombian compatriot, Julian Arredondo, riding for the third American WorldTour team, Trek – Segafredo, is also a top climber to watch.

Beyond those top favorites from the big teams, an interesting mix of veterans and new talent should liven up the race.

Italian Damiano Cunego is a renowned climber and winner of the 2004 Giro d’Italia. This will be his first go at the Tour of Utah, making it hard to predict how the 34-year-old veteran on Nippo – Vini Fantini will handle the high altitude.

Two UCI Continental teams may have the opportunity to spoil the party for the big squads as well. Jelly Belly brings ace climber Lachlan Morton, who won his first GC title earlier this season at Tour of the Gila. Jamis will ride for Janier Acevedo, another Colombian climber, who was third at the 2013 Tour of Utah.

Plus, the race will also include stage winners from previous editions of the Tour of Utah, such as: Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman), Eric Young (Rally), and Kiel Reijnen (Trek – Segafredo).