It’s a bummer to barely miss out on third place and the time bonus, but I’m happy to be in the mix and feel that finish line fire again.
While today was slated to end with a sprinter’s battle, Stage 1 of the Tour of Utah was a mountainous, high altitude day out.
The fast and flat start saw tons of attacks and an unfortunate flat tire for our leader, Tejay. We sent a couple guys back to help him, and this was around the moment four riders finally went away. We let the gap goout and began the work of keeping them on a leash that was hopefully short enough for the sprinter’s teams to help later.
Whether it was a lack of confidence in their sprinters or just putting the pressure on us after yesterday’s domination, that help never really came. Trek finally contributed one rider but it was largely on us, and we used a fair amount of energy keeping those strong four in check.
At a point, we decided it would be ok to let them go and take the stage and possibly the jersey if no other teams were interested in doing the work. Around this time, the front four fell apart and slowly came back without us having to lift the pace.
The finishing circuits were dicey with big roads and no teams willing or able to take control. It was up to Joey and me to take care of Tejay. Joey did a great job keeping us in position and covering a couple of attacks. The last lap was every man for himself, and I pushed myself to stay in the mix and go for the sprint, which was a long slightly uphill drag.
In the end, we kept Tejay in the jersey for another day. Tomorrow will be another notch of difficulty with the massive climb up Mount Nebo in the second half of the stage and historically proving decisive to the GC.