Wednesday, August 14, 2013

2013 tour of utah - stage 5

Stage 5 (8/10/13), Snowbasin to Snowbird, 113 miles, 10, 611 foot elevation gain.  Saturday morning we had a little time before we wanted to go up to Snowbird to watch the finish of Stage 5, so H was able to do a road ride and I went for a run from the house - I haven't been doing many hills since I restarted running after ski season and I must have looked like I was suffering terribly because every single runner/dog-walker/cyclist that I saw gave me a big grin and a wave.

After we got cleaned up, we made some sandwiches and tossed some PBRs in the cooler, heading up to Snowbird around 12:30 p.m.  They were going to close the road for the race at 2 p.m. and people were already lining the road at Tanners Flat and pouring into the resort parking lots.  We cruised through the vendor tents, picking up a few more stickers for our theoretical beer fridge, before scoring a picnic table on the Snowbird deck for our lunch.  We chatted for a while with a local guy who'd come up to pick up his Snowbird pass and check out the bike race, then went back to the race area, finding spots on the fence across from the Jumbotron.  We couldn't see the finish line live but we could see it on the screen and we would end up getting a great view of the cyclists as they charged down the alley.

Chris Horner taking the stage from Tommy D.

Stage 5 is really brutal.  It started at Snowbasin, descending through Mountain Green to East Canyon reservoir, then over to Park City and up and over Guardsman's Pass to descend all the way down Big Cottonwood Canyon for the first time in ToU history.  The route then turned up Wasatch Boulevard to Little Cottonwood Canyon and the grueling slog up-up-up to Snowbird.  A couple of cyclists led over the pass and through the descent, only to blow up on the climb up Wasatch Boulevard; the GC leader, young Lachlan Morton held onto his yellow jersey until they started climbing up LCC and then he too blew up.

Stage podium

At this point, Tommy Danielson, who had been supporting Lachlan, realized that he had a shot and just went for it.  Chris Horner jumped on Tommy's back wheel and stayed there all the way up.  They were neck and neck as they turned into Entry 2 and the straightaway to the finish line but Horner's legs were just that much less tired and he jumped ahead of Tommy D. right at the end in front of all the cheering fans.  (Horner did have the good graces to give Tommy credit for pulling him all the way up the canyon in the post-race interview.)

Stage 5 jersey winners (buncha skinny guys)

Stage podium:  Chris Horner (RadioShack/US), Tommy Danielson (Garmin-Sharp/US), Yannick Eijissen (BMC/Belgium).  General classification:  Chris Horner, Tommy D., Lucas Euser.

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