Posted by Editoress on 08/6/16
American Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo) climbed on the top step of the podium on Stage 5 presented by Zions Bank at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. Reijnen accelerated away from a select group of riders to claim a second stage victory in Utah in two years, in a time of four hours and 22 seconds. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Axeon Hagens Berman) was second and American Alex Howes (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling) was third, both with the same time as Reijnen.
Overall race leader Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS) finished 26th on the 115.6-mile (183.46 km) stage and retained the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Overall Race Leader jersey. Fourth in Stage 5, Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling) moved up to second place overall, nine seconds down. American Adrien Costa (Axeon Hagens Berman) dropped to third place and retained the Subaru Best Young Rider jersey.
“Today was definitely a more emotional win for me,” said Reijnen, who finished second on Stage 4 presented by UnitedHealthcare. He was in contention near the end of Stage 1 presented by Workers Compensation Fund, but suffered a late mechanical that took him out of the sprint finish. “I didn’t really believe in myself for the first 150k (kilometres) today, but the team did. Once we hit the circuits and got to the first climb, I felt my legs. I felt I had a good chance of winning if the break came back. Big thanks to my team for believing in me.”
Stage 5 presented by Zions Bank started at Antelope Island State Park, which sits on the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. A break of 11 riders escaped early in the stage, as the riders looped around part of the island before crossing the seven-mile causeway to the mainland. Working well together, the escapees extended their lead to a maximum of five minutes. Challenges included two Utah Sports Commission Sprint lines in Hooper and Eden, two Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain climbs at North Ogden Divide and Trappers Loop.
Reijnen, Geoghegan Hart and Howes were part of a select group of 30 riders that chased down the last remaining riders of the break on the nine-mile circuits in Bountiful. Attacks flew as the riders sped around the technical loop which was lined with 4,000 American flags, distributed by the Boy Scouts of America. Ultimately, Reijnen was able to overtake a sprinting Geoghegan Hart in the final meters for the victory.
“I knew this was super technical circuit. If you make it over the climb, you can catch a breather,” Reijnen said of the finishing loop. “I did not want to take any risks and went straight to the front on the descent to make sure I wasn’t behind anyone. It does make it exciting for the fans.”
This is the third runner-up finish for the Axeon Hagens Berman squad this week in Utah. “Our team has been very attentive,” Geoghegan Hart said. “We have been in the breaks we needed to be in. We covered moves. Unfortunately, it did not go our way today.”
For the Utah riders in the race, Taylor “T.J.” Eisenhart (BMC Racing Team) remained seventh overall on General Classification and Robbie Squire (Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team presented by Hincapie Sportswear) jumped two spots to 13th. Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) is 83rd on G.C.
Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) attacked the break on the first of two ascents of the Bountiful Bench above the finish line city. His efforts were awarded later with the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Most Aggressive Rider jersey. Stage 5 winner Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo) took over the Utah Sports Commission Sprint jersey. Daniel Jaramillo Diez (UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team) moved into the Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain jersey. Defending champion Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling) was voted America First Credit Union Fan Favorite in the Tour of Utah Legends category.
Tour of Utah report
Rob Britton (Can) Rally Cycling finsihed 9th on the stage and remains sixth in the overall.