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Aug 6, 2015 – American Eric Young of Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies surged past the field in an uphill sprint finish to win Stage 4 presented by Subaru at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Young covered the 127-mile course, held for the first time at Soldier Hollow in Heber Valley, in four hours and 47 minutes.
Tour of Utah
“It feels great,” said Young, who won a sprint finish at Stage 5 in last year’s Tour of Utah. “My best chances were stages 1 and 2. I was really happy to see Kiel (Reijnen) win Stage 1, but I felt really good that day so I was disappointed. To come back, to recover and be able to take this one is unexpected, but also I’m proud of that.”
Dion Smith (New Zealand) of Hincapie Racing Team was second and Jure Kocjan (Slovenia) of Team SmartStop finished third on Stage 4 presented by Subaru. The time bonus vaulted Kocjan into the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Overall Leader’s yellow jersey.
After capturing two intermediate sprints and time bonus seconds, Robin Carpenter (USA) of Hincapie Racing Team moved to second place in the General Classification, just two seconds back. He also took over the Subaru Best Young Rider jersey. BMC Racing Team’s Brent Bookwalter (USA) sits four seconds behind Kocjan in third place overall. Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling, who wore the leader’s jersey for the first three days of the Tour of Utah, now sits in eighth position on G.C., 13 seconds back.
“The first plan was to win the stage, and if it happens, it happens. But the first goal was to win the stage,” said Kocjan about the team’s plan for today’s race on the uphill finish. “We’ll just try to enjoy tomorrow, the circuit in Salt Lake. I think it will be awesome. It will be all day, full gas.”
Early on Stage 4 presented by Subaru under sunny skies, seven riders escaped the peloton along Daniels Canyon, the first of three Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain climbs. The group included Luis Enrique Lemus (Mexico) of Airgas Safeway Cycling Team; Ben King (USA) of Team Can nondale-Garmin; Tim Rowe (Australia) of Drapac Professional Cycling; Songezo Jim (South Africa) of MTN-Qhubeka presented by Samsung; Robin Carpenter (USA) of Hincapie Racing Team; Daniel Eaton (USA) of Axeon Cycling Team; and Nicolae Tanovitchii (Moldova) of Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis.
The group stayed away through the undulating terrain in Duchesne County and onto the second KOM climb up the Category 2 Wolf Creek Pass. After cresting the 9,495-foot summit, the racers hit blistering speeds of 60 miles per hour on the descent back toward the Heber Valley and the finish at Soldier Hollow, a host venue for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. After spending 112 miles in the front, the breakaway was caught in the Swiss-style community of Midway with three kilometers to go.
Axeon’s Daniel, who bridged to the break on Wolf Creek Pass, captured the Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain jersey. Carpenter was awarded the Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey. Fans selected Ted King as the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite in the Best Domestique category.
Stage 5 presented by Utah Sports Commission revives the popular Salt Lake City downtown circuit, which was last held in 2013. The 55-mile stage will start at 4:40 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 7, challenging the peloton to seven laps of a fast and technical eight-mile circuit. Starting on the north side of the Utah State Capital, the race will pass City Creek Canyon, the Avenues neighborhood and the University of Utah. In addition to the steep climb up State Street, the peloton will encounter a 20-percent gradient up Wall Street and Zane Avenue to the hilltop finish at the Utah State Capitol. It could be the hardest 55 miles of the week at “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM.”
Final kilometers of Stage 4
Results Stage 4:
1. Eric Young (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 4:47:57
2. Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Racing Team 0:00:01
3. Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team SmartStop
4. John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
5. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:02
6. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:00:03
7. Travis McCabe (USA) Team SmartStop
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Axeon Cycling Team
9. Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
10. Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 0:00:04
1. Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team SmartStop 17:46:56
2. Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Racing Team 0:00:02
3. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:04
4. Logan Owen (USA) Axeon Cycling Team
5. Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
6. Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Racing Team
7. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 0:00:12
8. Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:00:13
9. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Axeon Cycling Team 0:00:14
10. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka