Zabel Third in Bunch Sprint on Tour of Utah Stage 11. August 2016, Cedar City, Utah (USA) — Road Team
The opening stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah came down to a thrilling final sprint on the streets of Cedar City with Rick Zabel crossing the line third behind the stage winner and opening race leader, Kris Dahl (Silber Pro Cycling).
The day started with a 20 kilometer neutral start through the Zion Canyon National Park but as the race hit kilometer zero the attacks immediately followed and a breakaway quickly established an early lead over the peloton.
Their advantage reached a maximum of around five minutes before the BMC Racing Team stated to apply the pressure and pull hard at the front of the peloton to close down the gap.
The remaining breakaway riders were caught going into the final lap of the finishing circuit in Cedar City before the stage was set for the final sprint.
Quotes of the day
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart said: “We had to do a lot of work at the front of the peloton today to pull the breakaway back. It was perhaps more work than we expected to do but the guys all did a really great job. It was really positive to see how strong they were all riding and also to see them put their belief in Rick for the sprint. Rick looked really good at the end and I think taking third definitely made all of our efforts at the front of the race worthwhile.”
Rick Zabel said: “I was really looking forward to today’s stage. I finished seventh in Cedar City two years ago and although it was a different finish I knew the climb well and was sure I could do well if it came down to a final sprint. In the end there were two riders who were quicker than me today but I’m happy with how I was riding and a podium finish is always good.”
“The whole team did a really good job riding up front today and everyone was working really hard. We have a good bunch of guys racing here and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.”
Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Stage 1: Zion Canyon Village - Cedar City, 135.3km
Top 3: 1. Kris Dahl (Silber Pro Cycling) 2. Colin Joyce (Axeon Hagens Berman) 3. Rick Zabel (BMC Racing Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 3. Rick Zabel 20. Joey Rosskopf 21. Manuel Senni