Tour of Utah Stage 4: Marco Canola wins dramatic sprint in Salt Lake City

No change in GC, with Belgian Ben Hermans still comfortably on top of overall standings with two days of racing to go

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

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The final lap at stage 4 of the Tour of Utah started with one rider thinking he’d won, and ended with another rider actually claiming victory on a balmy evening in Salt Lake City.

Heartbreak belonged to Hayden McCormick (Bridgelane), who mistakenly thought he’d triumphantly reached the end of the 8-lap circuit race. Alas there was still one 6.7-mile lap to go in the 53.8-mile stage, leaving the Kiwi completely blown from his faux finish charge including post-up for the cameras.

Instead it was Marco Canola (Nippo-Vini-Fantini) taking victory in the Utah state capitol, duplicating his win from 2017 on the same challenging circuit that doled out over 550 feet of climbing per lap, pushing the day’s total ascending to 4,450 feet.

“Our director told us, okay we have to win today,” said Canola. “We have only one chance and we have to take it.”

And take it they did. The Italian, 30, launched his winning move near the top of the circuit’s final climb, reeling in a late GC charge from James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS), and then holding off pre-race favorite Travis McCabe (Worthy) in a slow motion sprint thanks to the 10% grade of the final 500 meters. Brendan Rhim (Arapahoe Hincapie) slotted an impressive third on a stage that lasted just under 2 hours and started after the workday was done, increasing fan turnout and lessening the angry car commuter factor.

“I took a big breath at 200 meters to go,” explained Canola. “I saw [Pablo Alarcon of Canel’s Specialized] go for the sprint, and I saw Travis on the left so I said I have to go on the right side. I pushed everything out and when I saw my front wheel the first one, I could understand maybe it could be my day. Until that moment I wasn’t thinking about winning, only to push hard… Three days ago I couldn’t win because I had a big crash and my motivation was at the ground. But now I’m really happy.”

Indeed, Canola’s triumph was all the more impressive given the fact that he crashed hard during stage 1, as witnessed by the scab on his nose and bandages up and down his left leg. He also rode so hard in the breakaway on stage 3 that cramps all but forced him off his bike at one point.

He’s also no stranger to victory, Canola’s race resume including a 2014 Giro d’Italia stage win and three stage wins at the 2017 Tour of Japan among others.

There was no change at the top of the overall standings, with Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy) continuing to lead Piccoli by 44 seconds, with Niklas Eg (Trek-Segafredo) third, at 1:06.

“It’s a time gap I can be really confident with,” said Hermans before the stage. “My team has shown to be really professional. I think we have this under control. We don’t have to be anxious about anything.”

The Belgian was spot-on on this day. After a slew of attempted breaks over the first four laps, the move of the day formed around the halfway point, with 16 riders coming together off the front. The move included 14 of the race’s 17 participating teams:

Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo), Alex Hoehn (Aevolo), Ulises Castillo (Elevate-KHS), Serghei Tvetcov (Worthy), Travis McCabe (Worthy), Efren Santos (Canel’s Specialized), T.J. Eisenhart (Arapahoe-Hincapie), Ty Magner (Rally-UHC), Eder Frayer (DC Bank), Alex Howes (EF Education First), Edwin Avila (Israel Cycling Academy), Kevin Vermaerke (Hagens Berman Axeon), Tony Baca (303 Project), Stephen Bassette (Wildlife Generation), Umberto Marengo (Neri-Sottolo-Sella Italia), and Jimmy Whelan (EF Education First).

Noticeably missing, Canola’s Nippo-Vini-Fantini squad and McCormick’s Bridgelane team. That helped keep the dangerous group in check, their gap never getting above 2 minutes.

“It was really hard to catch the breakaway because there were many strong riders in the front,” said Canola. “But we stayed all together and we know in our heads that we were strong enough to bring it all together in the last climb.”

Most of the day’s initial action involved McCabe (with an assist from teammate Tvetcov) gobbling up intermediate sprint points. The four-time Tour of Utah stage winner earned top points on lap 3 and 5, moving him into the top spot of what is the white jersey competition at this race.

At the start of lap 6 the break’s gap was hanging in the one-minute range, with Vermaerke, Whelan, Santos, Mosca, Avilla and Castillo all taking hard pulls off the front in order to keep the pace high and shed any freeloading passengers. But the bunch was sensing opportunity and started to pull back time, allowing Canola and McCormick to get across.

Soon after, McCormick took a solo flyer midway through the penultimate lap and cracked open a nice-sized gap. But when he threw his arms in the air approaching the start/finish line, his miscalculation became painfully apparent. On an up note, the Kiwi was voted Most Aggressive Rider for the day, so he still ended up with a little podium time.

The real final lap was marked by a handful of would-be attacks, including a blistering move by Best Young Rider Jersey holder Joao Almeida (Hagens Berman Axeon). He was quickly joined by Filippo Fiorelli (Nippo-Vini-Fantini), along with Wolfe and Tvetcov, who’d been part of the original 16-man move.

But as is so often the case, all the late-race fireworks were extinguished by a hungry bunch, who pulled back the final breakaway at the base of the circuit’s critical closing climb. Piccoli was first to charge out of what remained of the 102-rider field, making a desperate play to reclaim time on Hermans. But the attempt was in vain, as Canola, McCabe and the race’s other fast men went roaring by in search of the stage win.

“The team plan was to have people in the break, preferably not me but it worked out that way,” said McCabe. “It got established pretty quickly. Everybody was working pretty well together, and we had Serghei up there, so it looked like a promising break. But Nippo wasn’t happy with it, and brought it back so that Canolo could bridge across and I thought, sweet I think this would stick but then the next lap suddenly it was all back together… A win would have been fantastic, but Canola knows this course better than I do. It’s his second time winning it. I’m happy he took it and I’m glad I was at least able to take second after spending 2 hours in a miserable break. ”

Next up in Utah is stage 5’s 85.1-mile ride that starts and finishes at Canyons Village at Park City Mountain and includes 5,236 feet of climbing. There are sprint lines in the meadowlands of Kamas and Hoytsville and KoM lines along the mountainous terrain near the Jordanelle Reservoir and up Browns Canyon. Finally the route will twist around Kimball Junction for a possible General Classification shakeup in the final six miles. The final push is along the steep Canyons Resort Drive and High Mountain Road. Start time is 2:30 p.m. with an expected finish at 6 p.m.

The Larry H.Miller Tour of Utah Stage 4 Results

1CANOLA MarcoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè1:56:54
2MCCABE TravisFloyd's Pro Cycling0:00
3RHIM BrendanArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC0:00
4ALARCÓN Pablo AndresCanel's - Specialized0:00
5BOIVIN GuillaumeIsrael Cycling Academy0:00
6STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo0:00
7PICCOLI JamesElevate - KHS Pro Cycling0:00
8DOMBROWSKI JoeEF Education First0:00
9HERMANS BenIsrael Cycling Academy0:00
10EASTER Griffin303Project0:00
11ÁVILA EdwinIsrael Cycling Academy0:00
12EG NiklasTrek - Segafredo0:00
13CRADDOCK LawsonEF Education First0:00
14MURPHY KyleRally UHC Cycling0:00
15SWIRBUL KeeganFloyd's Pro Cycling0:00
16QUINTANA DayerNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:00
17DANIEL GregoryDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:00
18BONGIORNO Francesco ManuelNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:00
19FORTUNATO LorenzoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:10
20BRITTON RobRally UHC Cycling0:10
21BICKMORE CadeAevolo0:10
22ALMEIDA JoãoHagens Berman Axeon0:10
23BOWDEN ScottTeam BridgeLane0:10
24THURAU SvenDauner D&DQ-Akkon0:10
25DAVIS ColeHagens Berman Axeon0:10
26BADILATTI MatteoIsrael Cycling Academy0:10
27VELASCO SimoneNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:10
28BAUER DominikDauner D&DQ-Akkon0:10
29FRAYRE EderDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:10
30MANNION GavinRally UHC Cycling0:10
31DE LUNA Flavio Alejandro303Project0:14
32SANTOS EfrénCanel's - Specialized0:16
33HOWES AlexEF Education First0:16
34LÓPEZ Juan PedroTrek - Segafredo0:22
35SCHUNK ConorAevolo0:23
36COWAN AlexanderFloyd's Pro Cycling0:29
37SCHÖNBERGER SebastianNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:29
38GULLICKSON FinnWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis0:29
39MARENGO UmbertoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:29
40HOEHN AlexAevolo0:29
41MOSCA JacopoTrek - Segafredo0:29
42LEPLINGARD AntoineDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:29
43EARLE NathanIsrael Cycling Academy0:29
44THIBAULT Jean-DenisDCBank Pro Cycling Team0:29
45NIV GuyIsrael Cycling Academy0:29
46VERMAERKE KevinHagens Berman Axeon0:29
47ROJAS Gabriel FranciscoAevolo0:29
48CASTILLO Ulises AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling0:29
49EASTER Cullen303Project0:40
50ZARDINI EdoardoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM0:42
51DEBEAUMARCHÉ NicolasTrek - Segafredo0:45
52ȚVETCOV SergheiFloyd's Pro Cycling0:45
53FIORELLI FilippoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè0:45
54LARA FranciscoCanel's - Specialized0:49
55MCGILL ScottAevolo0:57
56LINDORFF TylerTeam BridgeLane1:03
57SÁNCHEZ Óscar EduardoCanel's - Specialized1:05
58WOLFE BenArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC1:09
59RICE MichaelHagens Berman Axeon1:13
60ROSS KentWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:17
61MAMOS PhilippDauner D&DQ-Akkon1:17
62LONARDI GiovanniNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè1:23
63ZIMMER MattDCBank Pro Cycling Team1:26
64SANTAROMITA IvanNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè1:39
65ZACCANTI FilippoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè1:39
66WHELAN JamesEF Education First1:44
67FLAKSIS AndžsArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC1:44
68SIMPSON GeorgeElevate - KHS Pro Cycling1:44
69MORTON LachlanEF Education First1:47
70SCHREURS HamishIsrael Cycling Academy1:47
71BACA Tony303Project1:50
72OIEN JustinArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC1:50
73VOLLMER AndrewAevolo2:10
74BRUNNER EricAevolo2:10
75PUTT TannerArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC2:10
76TOOVEY AydenTeam BridgeLane2:10
77HUFFMAN EvanRally UHC Cycling2:10
78ELLSAY NigelRally UHC Cycling2:10
79ORONTE EmersonRally UHC Cycling2:10
80CHEYNE JordanElevate - KHS Pro Cycling2:16
81JEAN ÉmileFloyd's Pro Cycling2:27
82BASSETT StephenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis2:27
83PALMA LeonelCanel's - Specialized2:36
84YOUNG EricElevate - KHS Pro Cycling2:38
85GRANIGAN NoahFloyd's Pro Cycling2:40
86MAGNER TyRally UHC Cycling3:12
87CLARKE JonathanFloyd's Pro Cycling3:26
88STEPHENS Austin303Project3:59
89NEWKIRK Isaiah303Project4:03
90HATSUYAMA ShoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè4:10
91RODRIGUEZ AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling4:11
92FLAUTT OliverDauner D&DQ-Akkon4:22
93MCCORMICK HaydenTeam BridgeLane4:22
94EISENHART TaylorArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC4:28
95VODICKA CamdenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis4:44
96FONT Bernat303Project0:10
97ANDERSON EdwardHagens Berman Axeon5:26
98BOARDMAN SamuelWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis5:56
99CHANCE MaxxWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis5:56
100SUNDERLAND DylanTeam BridgeLane6:31
101REVARD ThomasHagens Berman Axeon8:29
1HERMANS BenIsrael Cycling Academy 12:27:18
2PICCOLI JamesElevate - KHS Pro Cycling0:44
3EG NiklasTrek - Segafredo1:06
4MURPHY KyleRally UHC Cycling1:46
5STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo2:02
6DOMBROWSKI JoeEF Education First2:04
7ALMEIDA JoãoHagens Berman Axeon2:48
8CRADDOCK LawsonEF Education First3:17
9BRITTON RobRally UHC Cycling3:22
10BADILATTI MatteoIsrael Cycling Academy3:54
11BOWDEN ScottTeam BridgeLane4:04
12BONGIORNO Francesco ManuelNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM4:34
13SWIRBUL KeeganFloyd's Pro Cycling5:06
14EASTER Griffin303Project6:09
15QUINTANA DayerNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM7:09
16HOEHN AlexAevolo8:22
17LÓPEZ Juan PedroTrek - Segafredo8:51
18SANTOS EfrénCanel's - Specialized9:00
19ȚVETCOV SergheiFloyd's Pro Cycling9:13
20FRAYRE EderDCBank Pro Cycling Team9:14
21SCHÖNBERGER SebastianNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM12:13
22VOLLMER AndrewAevolo12:35
23FIORELLI FilippoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè12:47
24BOIVIN GuillaumeIsrael Cycling Academy12:54
25VERMAERKE KevinHagens Berman Axeon12:59
26BAUER DominikDauner D&DQ-Akkon13:26
27FORTUNATO LorenzoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM13:53
28MCCORMICK HaydenTeam BridgeLane13:59
29MANNION GavinRally UHC Cycling14:01
30VELASCO SimoneNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM14:02
31MORTON LachlanEF Education First14:09
32DANIEL GregoryDCBank Pro Cycling Team15:24
33MOSCA JacopoTrek - Segafredo15:25
34ANDERSON EdwardHagens Berman Axeon15:52
35ALARCÓN Pablo AndresCanel's - Specialized16:12
36FONT Bernat303Project16:37
37NIV GuyIsrael Cycling Academy18:00
38DE LUNA Flavio Alejandro303Project19:59
39SÁNCHEZ Óscar EduardoCanel's - Specialized20:00
40EARLE NathanIsrael Cycling Academy20:38
41HOWES AlexEF Education First22:37
42ÁVILA EdwinIsrael Cycling Academy22:57
43MCCABE TravisFloyd's Pro Cycling22:58
44SCHUNK ConorAevolo23:51
45ROJAS Gabriel FranciscoAevolo23:54
46COWAN AlexanderFloyd's Pro Cycling24:43
47CHEYNE JordanElevate - KHS Pro Cycling25:24
48MARENGO UmbertoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM25:32
49CANOLA MarcoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè27:03
50ZACCANTI FilippoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè27:23
51ZARDINI EdoardoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM27:27
52SANTAROMITA IvanNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè28:43
53LINDORFF TylerTeam BridgeLane29:15
54WOLFE BenArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC30:10
55SUNDERLAND DylanTeam BridgeLane30:26
56EASTER Cullen303Project31:11
57BICKMORE CadeAevolo31:15
58EISENHART TaylorArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC31:41
59CASTILLO Ulises AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling32:20
60RHIM BrendanArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC33:13
61DEBEAUMARCHÉ NicolasTrek - Segafredo34:49
62ZIMMER MattDCBank Pro Cycling Team36:07
63DAVIS ColeHagens Berman Axeon36:43
64RICE MichaelHagens Berman Axeon36:49
65HATSUYAMA ShoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè37:39
66ORONTE EmersonRally UHC Cycling38:12
67WHELAN JamesEF Education First38:28
68TOOVEY AydenTeam BridgeLane38:43
69BACA Tony303Project39:10
70LONARDI GiovanniNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè39:23
71MAGNER TyRally UHC Cycling39:57
72OIEN JustinArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC40:43
73NEWKIRK Isaiah303Project40:52
74PUTT TannerArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC41:01
75MCGILL ScottAevolo41:05
76THIBAULT Jean-DenisDCBank Pro Cycling Team41:09
77FLAKSIS AndžsArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC41:12
78BASSETT StephenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis41:16
79THURAU SvenDauner D&DQ-Akkon42:06
80SIMPSON GeorgeElevate - KHS Pro Cycling42:21
81REVARD ThomasHagens Berman Axeon42:26
82SCHREURS HamishIsrael Cycling Academy42:41
83HUFFMAN EvanRally UHC Cycling42:53
84GRANIGAN NoahFloyd's Pro Cycling42:54
85VODICKA CamdenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis44:14
86MAMOS PhilippDauner D&DQ-Akkon45:14
87BOARDMAN SamuelWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis46:30
88ROSS KentWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis46:45
89LEPLINGARD AntoineDCBank Pro Cycling Team47:47
90FLAUTT OliverDauner D&DQ-Akkon48:17
91CLARKE JonathanFloyd's Pro Cycling48:19
92JEAN ÉmileFloyd's Pro Cycling49:31
93BRUNNER EricAevolo50:41
94ELLSAY NigelRally UHC Cycling50:44
95LARA FranciscoCanel's - Specialized51:01
96YOUNG EricElevate - KHS Pro Cycling52:44
97RODRIGUEZ AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling53:27
98STEPHENS Austin303Project54:39
99GULLICKSON FinnWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis54:47
100CHANCE MaxxWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis54:56
101PALMA LeonelCanel's - Specialized55:32
1ALMEIDA JoãoHagens Berman Axeon 12:30:06
2HOEHN AlexAevolo5:34
3LÓPEZ Juan PedroTrek - Segafredo6:03
4VOLLMER AndrewAevolo9:47
5VERMAERKE KevinHagens Berman Axeon10:11
6BAUER DominikDauner D&DQ-Akkon10:38
7ANDERSON EdwardHagens Berman Axeon13:04
8SCHUNK ConorAevolo21:03
9ROJAS Gabriel FranciscoAevolo21:06
10LINDORFF TylerTeam BridgeLane26:27
11BICKMORE CadeAevolo28:27
12DEBEAUMARCHÉ NicolasTrek - Segafredo32:01
13DAVIS ColeHagens Berman Axeon33:55
14MCGILL ScottAevolo38:17
15THIBAULT Jean-DenisDCBank Pro Cycling Team38:21
16REVARD ThomasHagens Berman Axeon39:38
17VODICKA CamdenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis41:26
18BRUNNER EricAevolo47:53
19RODRIGUEZ AlfredoElevate - KHS Pro Cycling50:39
20GULLICKSON FinnWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis51:59
21PALMA LeonelCanel's - Specialized52:44
1HOWES AlexEF Education First18
2MCCORMICK HaydenTeam BridgeLane14
3HERMANS BenIsrael Cycling Academy12
4BOARDMAN SamuelWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis11
5PICCOLI JamesElevate - KHS Pro Cycling10
6FORTUNATO LorenzoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM9
7EG NiklasTrek - Segafredo8
8MURPHY KyleRally UHC Cycling8
9STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo7
10CANOLA MarcoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè7
11DOMBROWSKI JoeEF Education First6
12BONGIORNO Francesco ManuelNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM5
13CRADDOCK LawsonEF Education First4
14BRITTON RobRally UHC Cycling4
15ALMEIDA JoãoHagens Berman Axeon3
16STEPHENS Austin303Project3
17BADILATTI MatteoIsrael Cycling Academy2
18MCCABE TravisFloyd's Pro Cycling2
19BOWDEN ScottTeam BridgeLane1
1MCCABE TravisFloyd's Pro Cycling37
2CANOLA MarcoNippo Vini Fantini Faizanè19
3HERMANS BenIsrael Cycling Academy17
4CRADDOCK LawsonEF Education First17
5MARENGO UmbertoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM16
6MURPHY KyleRally UHC Cycling12
7EG NiklasTrek - Segafredo10
8ÁVILA EdwinIsrael Cycling Academy10
9RHIM BrendanArapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC10
10EASTER Griffin303Project8
11PICCOLI JamesElevate - KHS Pro Cycling7
12DOMBROWSKI JoeEF Education First7
13ALMEIDA JoãoHagens Berman Axeon7
14SWIRBUL KeeganFloyd's Pro Cycling7
15SANTOS EfrénCanel's - Specialized7
16ALARCÓN Pablo AndresCanel's - Specialized7
17BOIVIN GuillaumeIsrael Cycling Academy6
18MCCORMICK HaydenTeam BridgeLane5
19ZIMMER MattDCBank Pro Cycling Team5
20STETINA PeterTrek - Segafredo5
21SCHÖNBERGER SebastianNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM5
22BADILATTI MatteoIsrael Cycling Academy3
23ȚVETCOV SergheiFloyd's Pro Cycling3
24FORTUNATO LorenzoNeri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM3
25DE LUNA Flavio Alejandro303Project3
26RICE MichaelHagens Berman Axeon3
27BOARDMAN SamuelWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis3
28BOWDEN ScottTeam BridgeLane2
29MAGNER TyRally UHC Cycling2
30VERMAERKE KevinHagens Berman Axeon1
31COWAN AlexanderFloyd's Pro Cycling1
32DAVIS ColeHagens Berman Axeon1
33VODICKA CamdenWildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1
1Trek - Segafredo 37:33:46
2Israel Cycling Academy0:59
3EF Education First3:52
4Rally UHC Cycling7:23
5Neri Sottoli - Selle Italia - KTM11:38
6Hagens Berman Axeon14:32
7Floyd's Pro Cycling19:21
9Team BridgeLane22:42
11Canel's - Specialized32:06
12DCBank Pro Cycling Team42:57
13Elevate - KHS Pro Cycling45:37
14Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè46:56
15Arapahoe - Hincapie p/b BMC1:16:23
16Dauner D&DQ-Akkon1:26:35
17Wildlife Generation p/b Maxxis1:41:20

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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