Rosskopf Enjoys Day in the Breakaway Before Bunch Sprint on Stage 4 in Utah10. August 2018, Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) — Road Team
Joey Rosskopf tested his legs in the breakaway at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah today and worked hard out at the front of the race right up until the closing kilometer of the race which eventually came down to another hectic bunch sprint.
Stage 4 was a circuit race around Salt Lake City with the peloton racing over ten laps of an 11km course which included the traditional climb up Bonneville Boulevard as well as a gentle uphill drag to the finish line.
After an initial flurry of attacks in the opening kilometers of the race, Rosskopf was able to make it into the day’s 15-rider breakaway that was sitting 40 seconds ahead of the peloton at the end of the first lap.
Over the next seven laps, the leaders’ advantage continued to jump around the one-minute mark with race leader, Sepp Kuss’ Team LottoNl-Jumbo teammates taking responsibility for the pacemaking behind.
The chase began to heat up heading onto the penultimate lap with Rosskopf, who was one of the main driving forces in the breakaway, and the rest of his fellow leaders starting to lose some of the ground that they had made up over the rest of the field.
It didn’t take long for the leaders to start to attack one another with Rosskopf trying his luck however in the end, the gap between the two groups stood at 25 seconds as the bell rang to mark the start of the final lap.
On the final ascent of the climb, the main bunch was sitting just ten seconds behind as Rosskopf continued to show his strength and determination at the front of the race before attacking again approaching the 2km to go mark but ultimately the race was brought back together just after the flamme rouge.
It was another chaotic sprint for the line with Jasper Philipsen (Hagens Berman Axeon) taking the win in a photo finish ahead of Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) while Brent Bookwalter added a third top ten finish to his name at this year’s race after crossing the line sixth.
With Rosskopf in the breakaway, BMC Racing Team could sit comfortably in the peloton before the action heated up on the final lap and after being protected by the rest of his teammates, Tejay van Garderen crossed the line safely to remain third overall, 25 seconds behind Kuss, heading into the penultimate stage to Snowbird Mountain tomorrow.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
"This year, the breakaway established itself after the first couple of attacks. I went a little later and bridged across to a smaller group that had already formed because it looked like Team LottoNL-Jumbo was happy not to follow anyone and just ride at their own pace."
"Overall, I think we worked well together but it was kind of a mixed bag at times. I think guys were being told different things by their Sports Director throughout the stage. But in general, the cooperation was pretty good in the first half and then as guys got tired, that started to drop off and that was only helped by a couple of teams deciding that they wanted to go for a field sprint so their riders in the breakaway stopped riding. Everybody always has their own ideas in terms of tactics so it can get pretty frustrating in a group that big."
"I was feeling good today. It's a hard circuit but I was pretty comfortable which I was really pleased with. I maybe lacked the snap to get away from anyone and I think there was a lot of waiting around for the attacks rather than pulling through which doesn't get us any further down the road."
"In the last 3km, we were on a huge road that is around 2% downhill and on that the peloton can go super fast so I knew we were losing a lot of time there as by that point there wasn't a lot of cohesion up front. We had two fresh guys bridge to the breakaway on the last lap and each of them had a teammate there which seemed like the perfect scenario as even if they were fresher, and they could out-sprint me, at least we would survive and I then I could try to go for third but that didn't play out, instead there was just a lot of games."
"All in all though it was a good day out in the breakaway. It is always really nice to be active at the front and feel good enough to be there which doesn't happen every day."
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart:
"It was a super ride from Joey. We wanted to put a rider in the breakaway today and we thought that Joey would be perfect to go into a dangerous move but at the same time, we knew that as he is pretty close in GC it would be difficult. But, it worked out well and it was a good stage for him. The breakaway was able to get some time and then it was Team LottoNL-Jumbo who was riding behind. We thought that they would control it and try to limit their losses and that would allow the breakaway to make it but in the end, they caught them and it was a bit disappointing after Joey did so much work out at the front in a really strong breakaway. Brent then went for the sprint again which we also planned for if the race came back together."
"We didn't want to be on the back foot and have to chase a dangerous so it was good to have someone up at the front to take the pressure off our guys,particularly Tejay, behind ahead of tomorrow's tough stage. It's just a pity that it didn't work out."
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Stage 4: Salt Lake City > Salt Lake City, 110.1km
Top 3: 1. Jasper Philipsen (Hagens Berman Axeon) 2. Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) 3. Kiel Reijnen (Trek - Segafredo)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 6. Brent Bookwalter 22. Tejay van Garderen 30. Joey Rosskopf