Bookwalter Second; Rosskopf Most Aggressive In Utah5. August 2015, Bountiful, Utah (USA) — Road Team
Brent Bookwalter was runner-up, teammate Joey Rosskopf earned "most aggressive rider" honors for his breakaway heroics and the BMC Racing Team took the lead in the team classification Wednesday at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
Bookwalter and a reduced peloton containing several BMC Racing Team riders chased down Dion Smith (Hincapie Racing Team), who made a bid for the win in the final kilometer. Logan Owen (Axeon Cycling Team) overtook Bookwalter just before the line while Edwin Avila (Colombia) was third.
"I cannot say enough about my teammates, especially in the last kilometer," Bookwalter said. "I am not a sprinter, so obviously I do not have much experience having good lead outs. But as far as I am concerned, that was a world-class, textbook lead out by Joey and Michi (Schär). I feel bad I couldn't deliver it for them. But it was another day of getting experience and getting closer. It was really close today."
Bookwalter, who was third in Tuesday's bunch sprint finish, moved from sixth to fifth overall on the strength of his best result of the season. He is one of four riders who sit four seconds behind race leader and Stage 1 winner Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team).
"I tried a couple of attacks the last lap at the top of the climb and over the top, but there was a little bit of headwind," Bookwalter said. "After that, I was kind of banking on the sprint. The group was surprisingly big, so it was crucial to have those guys (Rosskopf and Schär) helping out."
Rosskopf earned the Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey by first being part of a six-man breakaway that escaped the peloton about 20 kilometers into the 176.1 km race. He then slipped what was left of his escape group to go solo on the first of two laps of a challenging finishing circuit. Last year's "king of the mountains" at this race was finally reeled in about 10 km from the finish.
"It was a pretty demoralizing effort, really," Rosskopf said. "The UnitedHealthcare guys kept us at three minutes – and no more – all day. When you see a team riding like that, you know you have a very small chance of staying away. I was there on the circuits, so I had to try. I did not want to sit up."
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said the effort other teams had to put forth to chase down Rosskopf may be more evident as the race continues. Thursday's 204.4 km race includes three categorized climbs and an uphill finish.
"It was nice to race our bikes and really be a part of the race all day – and put stress on the other teams," Stewart said. "For us, we have to kind of wear out these other teams. Our depth in this race is the fact that our guys can go longer and endure each day better."
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