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SNOWBIRD, Utah (VN) — The sixth stage of the Tour of Utah began Saturday without former race leader Jure Kocjan, the veteran Slovenian rider of team SmartStop.
Kocjan, who claimed stage 2 in Tremonton and assumed the race lead for one day after finishing third in stage 4 in Soldier Hollow, did not start stage 6 after contracting the flu.
Kocjan was sitting in third in the general classification at the end of stage 5, five seconds behind Michael Woods (Optum Kelly-Benefits) who assumed the race lead after the taking stage 5 win in Salt Lake City.
“Jure had a really difficult night last night,” said Michael Roecklin, SmartStop sponsorship director. “He had flu-like symptoms and could not sleep. The altitude obviously doesn’t make it easier to get through a night.”
Kocjan, 30, had three runner-up stage finishes in last year’s Tour of Utah and took the points classification title.
According his team, Kocjan hopes to return to competition at the USA Pro Challenge, beginning Aug. 17 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.