Ian Boswell (Bissell) was the closest domestic rider to challenging current and former Grand Tour riders Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Francisco Mancebo (Canyon Bicycles) on the mountaintop finish at the end of Tour of Utah Stage 2. At just 19 years old, Boswell placed third on the stage, but it didn’t come without a fight to the line atop Mt. Nebo.
Leipheimer won the stage by a 51-second margin ahead of a sprint between Mancebo and Boswell for second place, which the Spaniard won. “Looking back, it makes my result more worthy because I was up against those guys,” Boswell said. “But racing out there, whether it was Levi or a domestic rider, a race is a race and it didn’t make me any more motivated to try to win. I was riding the best race that I could regardless of who was there.”
Boswell turned heads at last year’s Nevada City Classic when he latched on to now teammate Ben Jacques-Maynes, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and Leipheimer as they lapped the field. He was 18 years old and won the junior category just prior to entering the Pro 1-2 men’s race.
“When they lapped the field there was a reduced group and when they passed the field Ian was able to hang on to them,” said Bissell’s directeur sportif Glen Mitchell. “Ben remembered him as a 6’3”, 18-year-old kid hanging on the back of two Tour de France riders. It stuck in Ben’s mind.
“When we were looking to fill a development slot on the team his name came up,” he added. “We spoke with him and saw that he was a great kid, polite and has great talent.”
Boswell spent the first portion of 2010 competing in Europe with the USA Under 23 National Team. A knee injury kept him from competing at the Mount Hood Cycling Classic with his new Bissell squad. He returned to racing at the Nevada City Classic and won as a first-year Under 23 rider up against a professional men’s peloton.
“Since then he has been going better and better,” Mitchell said. “We knew he was climbing well there but to see what he did today in Utah was phenomenal and we are very excited for him.
“I don’t think anyone would have known he was such a climber,” he added. “We did our research on him but it is hard because he is so young. When you look at him you can see that he is definitely a climber. He was exposed to some good races in Europe this spring. The ride he did today in Utah really puts him on the map.”
Boswell has committed to the Under 23 Trek-Livestrong team for the 2011 season. The team is affectionately known as the younger brother of ProTour squad Team RadioShack.
“It was great that we had him for a year but he has been on the radar of these other teams,” Mitchell said. “Trek-Livestrong is the best Under 23 team in the world so it was a hard decision for him to make, but we understand why he has gone to a team like that and we wish him all the best.”