The 27-year-old climber got away in the breakaway on the Aspen circuit, and frustrated his breakaway companions, in particular Ben Jacques-Maynes and Matt Cooke (Jamis-Hagens Berman), but winning the first two mountain sprints. But his chances of moving into the mountains jersey faded after Jacques-Maynes got away, and then faded even further on the stages to Crested Butte and Monarch Mountain.
His goal coming into the race was to place high on the general classification, but now in 28th place at 14:34 from race leader Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Norris said he's hoping that he's lost enough time that he can try for a stage win on Friday's fifth stage to Breckenridge.
Was it a gamble to go out so hard on the first stage when racing at 2600m? In retrospect, Norris said that maybe it wasn't the best idea.
"Normally the first day of a Tour is not that good for me, but I felt good," he said. "I didn't think it was a bad move to be up the road, and out of trouble. It looked like it was pretty hard in the bunch as well. I don't think anyone had an easy day.
"It was one of those things, we needed to have someone in there, and I was just in a position where i could go with the move. It probably wasn't what I was planning to do."
After Crested Butte, Norris was only 1:23 behind in 19th place, but the effort from the first day took its toll, and he ended the race in the second peloton, almost 13 minutes down on the stage winner Van Garderen.
Norris, 10th overall in the Tour of Utah, is still feeling good and looking for an opportunity when stage 5 heads up the Hoosier Pass to 11,539ft before heading down and over the Boreas Pass Road climb to Breckenridge.
"I've lost enough time that hopefully if I'm away, they won't chase."
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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