Tour of Utah in photos

by CyclingTips

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is billed as “America’s toughest stage race”, and with challenging mountains every day, there’s no doubt the organisers take that tagline seriously. In 2014 the seven-day tour featured two tough mountain-top finishes and plenty more big climbs besides, and for the second year in a row it was Garmin-Sharp’s Tom Danielson who took out the overall title. Here’s a gallery of photos from the race and a brief explanation of how the race unfolded.

The Tour of Utah began in the south west of the state with a 183km stage starting and finishing in Cedar City. The day featured two challenging climbs but ended with a long descent off Bristlecone and then three, flatter circuits around Cedar City. Moreno Hofland (Belkin) took victory in a sprint and would wear the yellow leader’s jersey the following day.

Stage 2 saw the riders head 210km east then north from Panguitch to Torrey via four categorised climbs. Again the stage finished with a descent and a flatter run-in to the finish and it was Michael Schar (BMC) who took a memorable victory, attacking from a six-man breakaway and holding off the peloton by just two seconds. Team SmartStop’s Jure Kocjan moved into the overall lead with his second-placed finish.

Stage 3 began just south of Salt Lake City in the town of Lehi before heading south over the Eureka climb en route to the finish at the Miller Motorsports Park. A breakaway was caught in the closing kilometres before Moreno Hofland took his second win in three stages. Kocjan held on to the overall lead.

On stage 4 the general classification got its first real shake-up thanks to the North Ogden Divide climb and the brutally tough Powder Mountain climb (10km at 10%) to end the stage. Tom Danielson and Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) climbed to the front of the race on the final ascent before Danielson rode away with 5km to go, winning the stage by nearly a minute and putting himself in the overall lead ahead of Chris Horner and Ben Hermans (BMC).

Stage 5 began across the border in Evanston, Wyoming, before heading south into Utah and on to the long climb to Bald Mountain. The closing kilometres into Kamas were considerably flatter though, with Eric Young (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) taking a sprint victory. Danielson held on to his overall lead.

The following day, with the race finishing with a climb to the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Cadel Evans (BMC) put on a masterclass. He escaped from the peloton early in the day to join the breakaway, working hard with his fellow escapees for the rest of the stage. On the final climb the break looked doomed, but he and Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Development Team) held on. Rosskopf attacked late but was marked by Evans who punched past to take a thrilling victory. The GC remained unchanged with Danielson finishing sixth on the stage.

And on the final day of racing, Cadel Evans again used his experience and talent to secure back-to-back stage wins. On the climb up to Empire Pass Evans was behind a lead group of four (which included Danielson and Horner) and on the descent toward the finish Evans put on a descending clinic and joined the front of the race. He sat at the back of the lead group until the final corner before the finish, swooping around to take the lead then sprinting to victory.

Tom Danielson finished fifth on the stage, securing back-to-back wins in the Tour of Utah. Chris Horner was second overall (as he was last year) while his teammate Winner Anacona rounded out the podium.

We hope you enjoy some of the many great photos from the race below.

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