Saturday, August 16, 2014

2014 tour of utah - stage 7

Stage 7 (8/10/14) Park City to Park City, 78 miles, 7,633 foot elevation gain.  Like last year, we got our Round Valley MTB ride in before the final stage of the 2014 Tour of Utah.  We went later, which meant that the trails were quite a bit busier than we've been used to the last few weeks; we also still had to navigate the channels cut into the singletrack from the hard rains we've been having.  We had parked at the high school so after the ride we cleaned up, ate some snacks and hopped aboard a shuttlebus that dropped us off in Park City's Old Town.

Tommy D. finish

Again, we cruised Main Street, checking out the vendors and people-watching.  (There is always good people-watching in Park City, with or without a major sporting event.)  We were able to try out a couple of different vantage points to watch the finish, settling on the same spot we were in last year because (1) we would be able to see the cyclists charging up Main Street to the finish line and (2) we would be right in front of the podium for the jersey presentations after the finish.

Jersey winners

The stage route was the same as last year: leaving Park City, out to Heber and Midway, up and over the brutal Empire Pass (average grade is 10%, maximum grade is over 20%) and then descending through Deer Valley to Park City, with that slight uphill finish.  Tom Danielson and Winner Anaconda broke away from the peloton on the climb up Empire Pass, joined shortly by Chris Horner and then Wilco Kelderman just before topping out.  The four of them descended - hitting speeds over 55 m.p.h. - while, unbeknownst to them, Cadel Evans was quickly gaining ground.  Evans caught the four leaders on the descent and then, in a gorgeous swooping move on the final corner into the straightaway, blew past all over them to easily take the stage win.

GC podium celebrating

Tommy Danielson finished the stage in fifth but as he was only five seconds behind, he won the general classification - the whole enchilada - for the second year in a row.  As he did his post-race interviews, he was charming and gracious, giving huge props to his team for all their hard work.  He seems to really enjoy this race so I assume we'll see him again next year as he tries to go for a three-peat  Cadel Evans seems to have caught the bug too - he's already said that he hopes to come back and ride the Tour of Utah again in 2015.

Lampre-Merida celebrating their team standings

Stage podium:  Cadel Evans; Wilco Kelderman (Belkin/Netherlands); Winner Anaconda Gomez (Lampre/Colombia).  General Classification:  Tom Danielson; Chris Horner (+52 seconds); Winner Anaconda Gomez (+1 min 43 sec).  Team standings: Lampre-Merida; BMC; Trek.  Sprinter:  Jure Kocjan.  King of the Mountain: Joey Rosskopf.  Most Aggressive:  Winner Anaconda Gomez.  Best Young Rider: Dylan Theuns (BMC/Germany).

2014 ToU champion: Tom Danielson

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