Elmiger Sprints to Fifth Place on Day One in Utah31. July 2017, Logan (USA) — Road Team
Stage 1 of The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah came down to a predicted bunch sprint in Logan, where Martin Elmiger sprinted to fifth place in a hectic finale after 213km of racing.
The battle for the breakaway was on as soon as the flag dropped but it took almost one hour of racing before 10 riders were able to go clear on the approach to the first categorized climb.
The peloton, featuring all of BMC Racing Team’s riders, sat up and allowed the group to gain an advantage of almost eight minutes before the chase was organized and the gap started to fall to 5’40” inside the final 100km.
The breakaway split on the second ascent of the Logan Canyon while behind, the peloton’s strong pace halved the advantage again to 2’40” with 50km remaining.
BMC Racing Team remained well-positioned towards the front of the bunch and as soon as the race came back together 8km before the finish line, attacks came from the reduced peloton.
As the race entered the circuit finish in Logan, the battle for positioning was on as the peloton navigated the tricky parcours.
Silvan Dillier led the peloton across the finish line with one lap to go, before eventually launching an attack inside the final kilometer.
Dillier was caught with 500 meters to go, before Elmiger sprinted to fifth place behind stage winner Ty Magner (Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team).
The battle for the General Classification is expected to heat up on stage 2 which sees the peloton tackle three climbs, including the summit finish in Snowbasin.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I think if I had more space I could have won the sprint. I was in the perfect position but I could not pass. I was a little surprised because on the last corner somehow I was in the first position. When I first arrived in Utah I was suffering a little bit in the first days of training because I didn’t train specifically for this race or at altitude, I enjoyed a nice summer at home training normally in Switzerland. Today, the legs were ok though. But, it’s going to be hard from now on. Tomorrow is a nice stage for the GC guys. We saw the stage four days ago so we know the roads.”
Jackson Stewart, Sports Director:
“I think today was a good stage. We wanted to keep Brent Bookwalter out of trouble and we weren’t really thinking of the stage win, rather letting the breakaway go. But the other teams wanted to sprint and Martin Elmiger got in there which was good. We drew car 15 before the race, so it will be nice to have a better car position from tomorrow when the GC battle will start.”
“All of the teams are looking at us but we didn’t want to have to control today, especially without the jersey. We just wanted to make sure a huge breakaway didn’t go away. As we got closer to the first climb we were less worried because we knew guys like Joey Rosskopf and Kilian Frankiny could jump in it, but as it turned out the breakaway went just before. Everyone will be looking to get into the breakaway tomorrow so it’s going to be tough.”
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Stage 1 Logan > Logan (213km)
Top 3: 1. Ty Magner (Holowesko-Citadel Racing Team), 2. Chris Lawless (Axeon Hagens Berman), 3.Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 5. Martin Elmiger, 19. Silvan Dillier, 29. Brent Bookwalter.