An international field assembled at the Tour of Utah where Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) won the overall title on Sunday in Park City. Earlier in the week, Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare) triumphed at the first-ever Tour of Utah Women’s Edition. Many of North America’s teams and riders were also participating at events overseas in Denmark, Poland, Belgium and France. Check out a few of the highlights from the peloton last week and a peek at the upcoming USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado.
Rivera wins inaugural Tour of Utah Women’s Edition
UnitedHealthcare’s Coryn Rivera won the inaugural Tour of Utah Women’s Edition held on August 6 in conjunction with stage 3 of the pro men’s Tour of Utah. Her victory happened just days after her teammate Alison Powers won the Cedar City Grand Prix, a women’s criterium held in conjunction with stage 1 of the men’s race and organized by Nicky Wangsgard.
The women completed 15 laps of a 3.5km circuit for a total of 53km. It was the first official women’s race in the 10-year history of the Tour of Utah. Rivera out-sprinted Many Heintz (Guru Cycles p/b Haute Wheels Racing) and Meredith Miller (Pepper Palace Pro Cycling).
Domestic teams captivate at Tour of Utah
American rider Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) won the Tour of Utah in its high-altitude ascents ahead of fellow countryman Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) but it was the performances form the Professional Continental and Continental domestic teams during the seven-day race that stood out among the world-class field.
US-based Continental team SmartStop opened the race with a strong performance from its sprinter Jure Kocjan, who led the overall race and points competition after the second stage. The Slovenian rider wrapped up the stage race by winning the points classification ahead of American rider Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare).
Young riders Joseph Rosskopf and Robin Carpenter from the Hincapie Sportswear Development team swapped the lead of the mountains competition during the opening stages. Rosskopf secured the win in that classification at the conclusion of the race ahead of Carpenter, Danielson and Horner. He also turned heads with a second-place finish behind Cadel Evans (BMC) on the ‘queen’ stage 6 to Snowbird.
Bissell Development’s Tanner Putt led the young rider classification after the second stage with Carpenter jumping into the lead during the third stage, however, it was BMC’s Dylan Teuns that won the classification.
Professional Continental and Continental domestic teams also frequently rode into breakaways and took top 10s during stages including Reijnen, Putt, Carter Jones and Eric Young (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), and Ken Hanson and Lucas Euser (UnitedHealthcare). Stage 5 was a stand-out performance with three domestic riders on the podium in Kamas, with Young taking the win ahead of Kocjan and Reijnen.
Expect to see more from the domestic racers at the upcoming USA Pro Challenge in Colorado.
Canadians on the attack at Tour of Poland
Canadian riders showed themselves as the aggressors during the Tour of Poland held from August 3-9.
Guillaume Boivin (Cannondale) kicked off the race with a fourth-place finish during the stage 1 sprint. He went on to place eighth during stage 2 while American sprinter Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) rode in for 10th in the sprint. Farrar improved on his performance during stage 3 with a sixth place finish in the sprint.
Hugo Houle (Ag2r-La Mondiale) rode into the stage 5 breakaway while Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge) successfully bridged across to the move. Meier’s attacks on the second time up a steep climb on course split the breakaway apart and he held a lead until 14km to go. After a series of attacks from the small field, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) tried to make his move with two kilometers to go but it went nowhere and in the end, it was Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) that took the stage win.
Meier went on the attack for a second day, during stage 6, and wound up in the day’s seven-rider breakaway again. He picked up points on five of the six king of the mountain climbs. He attacked on the second to last climb over the wall of Bukovina with two other breakaway riders. He was the last of the trio caught by the field with 25km to go.
Hesjedal was the top-placed North American in 17th overall.
Meier missed the final day of the race and went on to compete at the Prudential RideLondon Classic on Sunday.
Murphy wins mountain competition at Tour of Denmark
American rider John Murphy won the mountain competition at the Tour of Denmark held from August 6-10. The UnitedHealthcare rider wound up in a breakaway during the first stage and picked up the first set of the category points. With help from his teammates, he accumulated points during the remaining stages to seal the mountain jersey victory with a total of 62 points, beating his team’s new stagiaire Federico Zurlo with 34 points and Mikkel Morensen (Riwal Cycling) with 30 points.
US development team takes fourth at Tour Alsace
The US men’s development team finished off the Tour Alsace with a fourth place overall in the team competition at its conclusion on August 5 in France, using the combined finishing times of riders Alexey Vermeulen, Jeff Perrin, Logan Owen, T.J. Eisenhart, Geoffrey Curran and Tyler Williams. Czech-based Team Etixx won the team title.
The men’s development team also competed in the Kreiz Breizh in France with riders Yannick Eckmann, Torey Philipp, Justin Oien, Colin Joyce, Jake King and Tobin Ortenblad.
The women’s US development squad was also overseas at the Kapllen Kermesse on July 29, Lotto Cycling Cup on August 2, Ninove Kermesse on August 3 and Oostkamp Kermesse on August 4 with riders Lauren DeCrescenzo, Korina Huizar and Heather Fischer. The team secured four top-10 finishes in the Belgium races.
Ass Savers partners with Ritte Women’s Team
Ass Savers, a company that manufactures bicycle mudguards, has partnered with the California-based Ritte Women’s Team to launch a team edition mudguard where 100 per cent of the proceeds will fund the team’s travel to Rás na mBan women’s stage race in September in Ireland. The Ritte Women's Team Edition is available exclusively from Ass-Savers.com.
"The Ritte Women's Team is more then excited about this partnership, after five days of racing in the rain and mud in Ireland in 2013, we look forward to having our asses saved by Ass Savers,” said Kelli Samuelson, rider and Ritte sponsor coordinator.
Van Garderen returns to Colorado to defend USA Pro Challenge title
Top-level racing continues in the US with the upcoming USA Pro Challenge held from August 18-24 in Colorado. After a fifth-place finish at the Tour de France, BMC’s Tejay van Garderen is back in the US and ready to defend his overall title. He will have help from American teammates Peter Stetina and Brent Bookwalter.
The BMC squad will have a battle on their hands, especially from fellow American Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) who won the Tour of Utah last week. He will be supported by American teammates Alex Howes, Ben King, Gavin Mannion and Phil Gaimon.
Riders to watch from the domestic teams are Lucas Euser (UnitedHealthcare), Joey Rosskopf (Hincapie Development), Gregory Brenes (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly/Maxxis) in the mountains. Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare), Ryan Anderson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Tanner Putt (Bissell Development), and US champion Eric Marcotte, Travis McCabe and Jure Kocjan (SmartStop) will try for good performances in the sprints.
Read Cyclingnews’ full USA Pro Challenge preview here.
Stay tuned to next week's edition of race recaps and previews of what’s ahead in the North American road racing scene.