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Dombrowski wins Tour of Utah

One day after winning his first professional race, Joe Dombrowski claimed the first overall stage race victory of his career by winning the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Sunday in Park City.

Drapac's Lahlan Norris took the seventh and final stage of the race in a photo finish from BMC's Brent Bookwalter, with Natnael Berhane (MTN-Qhubeka) third.

"I'm pretty excited," Norris said. “This is a huge win for me and for the team as well. We came here to win a stage, and unfortunately it was a bit hillier than we thought with out sprint boys, and it was up to the skinny guys, so I was glad I was able to take a win."

Cannondale-Garmin's Dombrowski finished ninth on the day to claim overall victory ahead of stage 5 winner Michael Woods (Optum Pro Cycling) and Bookwalter.

The win also marks Dombrowski's return to top form after several years of injuries and illness., including an operation on his iliac artery last year.

"So far it's been a really good year for me and I've sort of made steady progress," he said. "I think anytime you have a long hiatus like that, you fix something and you think you're going to go straight back to the top. But it doesn't always work that way.

"It's not a linear progression," he said. "But, yeah, I think this is the best yet since then, so I'm happy to be back and racing healthy again."

The win was especially good for Cannondale-Garmin, given the news at the beginning of the week that two-time Utah champion and Dombrowski's teammate Tom Danielson had tested positive in July for synthetic testosterone.

"I said to the guys on the team bus the first day, 'I think we can still win this race. And I think with you guys individually we can win stages as well, so let's not focus on that and let's just focus on the race and see what we make of it and be as positive about this as we can,'" Dombrowski said. "I think it was a good week for us."

How it unfolded

Sunday's 125.5km final stage, which started and finished in Park City, was relatively short but packed a huge punch. The day featured just two KOMs, the category 2 climb through Wolf Creek Ranch and the daunting climb of Empire Pass that topped out at 2,726 metres of elevation and led to a technical 8km descent to the finish

A breakaway of 12 riders formed in the opening kilometres, with Taylor Phinney (BMC), Sam Spokes (Drapac), Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka), Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare), Edwin Avila (Team Colombia), Luca Chirico (Bardiani-CSF), Ty Magner (Hincapie), Rob Britton (Team SmartStop), Carson Miller (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Angus Morton (Jelly Belly-Maxxis), Griffin Easter (Airgas-Safeway) and Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) escaping the field.

The best-placed breakaway rider was more than nine minutes in arrears, but even so the field was not eager to give the break much leash on the short stage. The leader's biggest advantage of the day was 3:45 about 31km into the day and by the time they hit the bottom of Wolf Creek Ranch the Cannondale and Optum led chase had whittled it down to 3:10.

As the leaders went up the climb, they started losing time precipitously, and as the gap neared two minutes, UnitedHealthcare's Janez Brajkovic and Colombia's Castiblanco tried to bridge. They made it about halfway to the leaders, but the field eventually pulled them back.

The breakaway began to splinter on the climb, and their advantage dropped below two minutes. But they came back together on the descent out of the ranch and were 12 strong again heading through the town of Midway toward Empire Pass.

The cooperation amongst the leaders didn’t last long, however, as Putt slipped away from the group, followed by Phinney, Avila and Easter.

Putt continued on solo as the three chasers were absorbed by the field. Counter attacks started to fly as more riders hoped to bridge to Putt. Rob Britton set out on his own and soon passed Putt, who faded back into the field as a select group started to form behind Britton.

In the new chase group were Dombrowski, Woods, Bookwalter, Natnael Berhane (MTN-Qhubeka) Frank Schleck (Trek Factory Racing), Daniel Martinez (Colombia) and Rob Squire (Hincapie). Bookwalter briefly lost contact with the group but fought his way back with Norris. The group was also joined by Chris Horner (Airgas-Safway) and Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) to form a chase group of 10.

Britton fought to hold his lead over the top of the climb, but the chase caught him several kilometres from the summit. More counter-attacks flew, but the leaders crested Empire Pass together.

Bookwalter and Norris lit out on the descent, gaining a gap that looked promising, but Norris briefly lost contact. He was able to claw his way back, however, as he flew up on Bookwalter's wheel and then went to the front to press the pace even harder.

"Last week we stayed up in Deer Valley, and we were regularly hitting about 120km/h down that straight section," Norris said. "So I'm pretty sure that would have been something similar when I was gradually getting back onto the back of Brent.

"It was super fast, but I knew the descent pretty well," he said. "I actually said to the mechanic this morning to let 10 psi out and I'd give red-hot crack hot in the descent. So I had that planned and it was really good to have that plan come together.

As the duo entered Park City and made their way to the finish on Main Street, Bookwalter railed the final corner and had a gap, but Norris was able to make the ground and pass the BMC rider right on the line.

"I actually knew it was quite a long drag and I didn't want to go in there first," Norris said. "I've got a little bit of steady acceleration, but I don't have a lot of length in my sprint so I had to make it pretty short and sweet. I guess I judged it pretty well."

Bookwalter lamented that he unfortunately has the same type of sprint as Norris. He said the team watched a video on the bus before the stage of former BMC rider Cadel Evans winning last year's stage on the same course, and Evans burst out of the final corner first to take the stage win.

"It was full gas to the line," Bookwalter said. "I think I took a little gap and then head down, buried myself and gave it everything I had, so no regrets. It was just a good powerful and tactical sprint by Lachlan."



#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling3:14:51
2Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
3Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:20
4Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
5Christopher Horner (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team
6Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
7Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
8Daniel Martínez (Col) Colombia
9Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
10Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop0:00:48
11Michael Woods (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:00:20
12Flavio De Luna (Mex) Team SmartStop0:01:34
13Walter Pedraza (Col) Colombia
14Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:01:41
15Jorge Castiblanco (Col) Colombia0:01:44
16Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Axeon Cycling Team
17Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
18Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:01:57
19Brendan Canty (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts
20Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:02:53
21Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:02:56
22Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Racing Team0:03:10
23Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team0:03:11
24Chris Butler (USA) Team SmartStop0:03:14
25Carlos Mario Ramirez (Col) Colombia0:03:25
26Cayetano Sarmiento (Col) Colombia
27Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:03:31
28Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Axeon Cycling Team0:03:33
29Julian Bernard (Fra) Trek Factory Racing0:03:58
30Leonardo Basso (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
31Luis Lemus (Mex) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:04:37
32Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:05:07
33Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
34Daniel Eaton (USA) Axeon Cycling Team0:05:37
35Connor McCutcheon (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:06:05
36Griffin Easter (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team
37Samuel Spokes (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:06:12
38Nicolae Tanovitchii (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:07:04
39Kilian Frankiny (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:07:06
40Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:07:08
41Songezo Jim (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka0:08:03
42Benjamin King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:08:09
43Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
44Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
45Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia0:08:13
46Angus Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:08:18
47Justin Mauch (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team
48Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) MTN - Qhubeka
49Alexandr Braico (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:08:20
50Jack Bobridge (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts0:08:50
51James Oram (NZl) Axeon Cycling Team0:09:14
52Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
53Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka0:09:23
54Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:10:22
55Gregory Daniel (USA) Axeon Cycling Team
56Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:10:45
57John Hornbeck (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:12:13
58Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:12:14
59Joseph Schmalz (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
60Taylor Sheldon (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
61Luca Chirico (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:13:16
62Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:14:55
63Tyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:15:16
64John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:15:18
65Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
66Jasper Bovenhuis (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
67Edward King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
68Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
69Fabio Silvestre (Por) Trek Factory Racing
70Logan Owen (USA) Axeon Cycling Team
71Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
72Brodie Talbot (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts
73Stephen Leece (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home
74Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team
75Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:15:30
76Michael Torckler (NZl) Team Budget Forklifts0:15:35
77Jack Anderson (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts
78Mackenzie Brennan (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:15:39
79Erik Slack (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
80Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
81Josh Berry (NZl) Team Budget Forklifts0:15:48
82David Williams (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home
83Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:15:56
84Steve Fisher (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
85Phillip Gaimon (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
86Gregory Brenes Obando (CRc) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home
87Oscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
88Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
89Cullen Easter (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team
90Kevin Gottlieb (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team
91Scott Zwizanski (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
92Manuel Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF
93Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
94Andrea Manfredi (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:16:03
95Emerson Oronte (USA) Team SmartStop0:16:16
96Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:16:31
97Sebastián Molano (Col) Colombia0:19:23
98Zachary Bell (Can) Team SmartStop0:21:55
99Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:22:31
DNSTravis McCabe (USA) Team SmartStop

Final general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team28:06:48
2Michael Woods (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:00:50
3Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:01:05
4Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:01:07
5Christopher Horner (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:01:09
6Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:01:12
7Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka0:01:22
8Daniel Martínez (Col) Colombia0:01:41
9Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:01:46
10Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:01:50
11Walter Pedraza (Col) Colombia0:03:10
12Jorge Castiblanco (Col) Colombia0:04:03
13Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Axeon Cycling Team0:04:25
14Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:04:29
15Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:04:58
16Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Racing Team0:06:10
17Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team0:06:15
18Brendan Canty (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts0:06:22
19Flavio De Luna (Mex) Team SmartStop0:06:31
20Chris Butler (USA) Team SmartStop0:06:55
21Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:07:16
22Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:09:35
23Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop0:09:54
24Cayetano Sarmiento (Col) Colombia0:10:54
25Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:13:22
26Kilian Frankiny (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:14:42
27Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:16:21
28Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:16:49
29Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:17:06
30Nicolae Tanovitchii (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:21:27
31James Oram (NZl) Axeon Cycling Team0:22:02
32Julian Bernard (Fra) Trek Factory Racing0:23:19
33Benjamin King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:23:32
34Alexandr Braico (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:24:25
35Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Axeon Cycling Team0:24:32
36Luca Chirico (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:24:33
37Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:25:16
38Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:25:26
39Angus Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:26:38
40Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:26:50
41Connor McCutcheon (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:27:26
42John Hornbeck (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:27:57
43Carlos Mario Ramirez (Col) Colombia0:28:17
44Leonardo Basso (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:28:23
45Daniel Eaton (USA) Axeon Cycling Team0:28:47
46Jack Bobridge (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts0:30:50
47Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka0:33:45
48Gregory Brenes Obando (CRc) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:35:30
49Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:36:10
50Logan Owen (USA) Axeon Cycling Team0:38:17
51Luis Lemus (Mex) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:38:39
52Phillip Gaimon (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:39:13
53Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia0:39:45
54Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:40:57
55Griffin Easter (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:41:05
56Taylor Sheldon (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:41:13
57Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:41:15
58Manuel Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:43:08
59Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) MTN - Qhubeka0:44:08
60Gregory Daniel (USA) Axeon Cycling Team0:44:35
61Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:45:54
62Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:46:06
63Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:48:16
64Stephen Leece (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:49:38
65Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka0:50:24
66Songezo Jim (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka0:51:09
67Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing0:51:31
68Jasper Bovenhuis (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:52:24
69Joseph Schmalz (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:53:14
70Cullen Easter (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:53:22
71Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:56:27
72Edward King (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:57:05
73Jack Anderson (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts0:57:15
74Sebastián Molano (Col) Colombia0:59:03
75Steve Fisher (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:59:09
76Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:59:33
77Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies1:00:11
78Emerson Oronte (USA) Team SmartStop1:00:21
79John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling1:01:34
80Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team1:03:26
81Scott Zwizanski (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies1:03:49
82Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling1:04:09
83Erik Slack (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis1:05:09
84David Williams (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home1:06:52
85Mackenzie Brennan (USA) Hincapie Racing Team1:08:09
86Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling1:09:22
87Samuel Spokes (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling1:09:44
88Fabio Silvestre (Por) Trek Factory Racing1:10:03
89Justin Mauch (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team1:10:14
90Brodie Talbot (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts1:11:09
91Michael Torckler (NZl) Team Budget Forklifts1:11:39
92Tyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Racing Team1:13:02
93Josh Berry (NZl) Team Budget Forklifts1:14:00
94Oscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Racing Team1:18:26
95Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF1:21:27
96Andrea Manfredi (Ita) Bardiani CSF1:28:20
97Zachary Bell (Can) Team SmartStop1:31:25
98Kevin Gottlieb (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team1:38:33
99Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling1:52:21


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Pat Malach
Pat Malach

Growing up in Missoula, Montana, Pat competed in his first bike race in 1985 at Flathead Lake. He studied English and journalism at the University of Oregon and has covered North American cycling extensively since 2009, as well as racing and teams in Europe and South America. Pat currently lives in the US outside of Portland, Oregon, with his imaginary dog Rusty.

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