Atapuma Second on Tour of Utah Queen Stage6. August 2016, Snowbird Resort, Utah (USA) — Road Team
Today’s queen stage at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah saw the riders tackle the only summit finish of the week with Darwin Atapuma showing strong form by launching a late attack on way to Snowbird Resort and eventually crossing the line second behind stage winner and new race leader, Andrew Talansky (Cannondale - Drapac).
As soon as the race hit kilometer zero attacks started to fly off the front of the peloton. BMC Racing Team worked hard to mark every move before a group of ten riders, including Rick Zabel, were able to cement an advantage over the peloton which at one stage reached a maximum of 4 minutes 25 seconds.
The breakaway started to split as they headed over the top of day’s first categorized climb, Guardsman Pass, before the race came back together for a decisive final climb.
Eventually only a select group of riders were left to battle it out on the steep slopes up to Snowbird Resort. Taylor [TJ] Eisenhart made a move off the front of the main General Classification group before Darwin Atapuma launched an impressive attack that could only be matched by Talansky.
The duo went under the flamme rouge together before going head to head in a final sprint for the line.
Atapuma’s second place finish saw him move up in the General Classification and he now sits in fourth place going into tomorrow’s final stage, 1 minute 23 seconds behind Talanksy.
Joey Rosskopf and TJ Eisenhart were also riding strong on the final climb and crossed the line in seventh and tenth place respectively to remain inside the top ten on the General Classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Darwin Atapuma said:
"Today was a tough stage and I'm grateful for all of the work that the team did. I previewed this climb before the race with TJ and gave it a go at tempo so we knew what was coming up. I have been climbing really well this season, especially at the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de Suisse, so I came in to this race confident in my abilities.”
“The team did a great job all today to put me in a position where I could attack and get in a good position to go for a podium result. It’s just a shame I couldn’t get the win. It was definitely not an easy stage especially with the headwind but in the end I was happy with the form I showed and we are still really motivated and focused for tomorrow’s final stage.”
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart:
“We had an idea to try and set up a dangerous move today that could pass the first climb and then help at the front when that would come together. Again, every single person wanted to be in the breakaway today so it was really hard at the beginning. Rick was able to be part of the successful move and he has shown this week that he is climbing super well which is really interesting. He did such a good job and was able help the team for the final climb.”
“With Rick in the break we could sit up a bit in the peloton and over the first climb we still have six strong guys up at the front. We were then able to attack on the final climb and really light the race up with Darwin. The only guy who could stay with him was Talansky so that made it a proper duel for the win and to finish in second made it a good day. We lost the race by about a tyre width which is a bit of a shame for Darwin as he is really confident here and everyone is really working well for him. We just waiting for the elusive stage win."
“The whole team was super active again. Joey was caught behind a moto crash which was a situation that is definitely un-called for but he was able to get back up to the front of the race which was great to see and also be up there in the top ten with TJ.”
Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Stage 6: Snowbasin Resort - Snowbird Resort, 183.5km
Top 3: 1. Andrew Talansky (Cannondale - Drapac) 2. Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing Team) 3. Adrien Costa (Axeon Hagens Berman)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 2. Darwin Atapuma 7. Joey Rosskopf 10. Taylor Eisenhart
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 4. Darwin Atapuma 6. Joey Rosskopf 7. Taylor Eisenhart
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.