Rally Cycling’s Rob Britton went on the attack on stage three of the Tour of Utah today, animating the race late to earn the Most Aggressive Rider jersey. In the field, Rally Cycling assembled a leadout for current US Pro Criterium Champion Ty Magner, who finished eighth in the field sprint.
The defending Tour of Utah champion joined nine other riders in a 100 km long breakaway on the relatively flat, long day of racing in Layton. After Britton lost time in the overall on Mt. Nebo, he pushed the pace from the breakaway throughout the day. With the finishing circuits in sight and the chasing peloton only 30s back, Britton made one last-ditch effort for stage glory. Johnny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) joined him and the duo held a gap until nine kilometers to go.
“I felt really good and I don’t think it’s going to cost me for the climbing stages this weekend,” said Britton. “This is how I should feel and I wish I had these legs yesterday. I think we’re back on track now and we’ll be aggressive for the coming days.”
Kyle Murphy now sits fifth in the general classification, thanks to his podium finish on stage two. It puts the team in great position for the last three difficult stages of this year’s race.
“Going into the weekend we have Kyle Murphy high in the overall,” said Britton. “The team is riding great and we are executing our plans well. We will try to move Kyle onto the podium and the way he rode yesterday, I don’t see that as a stretch.”
With today’s 188 km stage expected to finish in a field sprint, the team’s plan was to cover the breakaway and support former Tour of Utah stage winner Ty Magner for the stage finish. With Britton up the road, the team was able to follow wheels inside the peloton until the finale.
“The plan was to have someone in the breakaway if it got bigger than six guys,” said Magner. “It took the pressure off of us to ride the front with Britton in there. I was following Danny Pate going into the final circuit and Emerson Oronte brought us up to a great spot inside the last three kilometers. I was able to add another top ten finish for the team so I’m happy.”
Tomorrow’s stage four in downtown Salt Lake City consists of ten laps around the state capital. The hilly 14 km circuit is another chance for the breakaway as many of the top teams are more interested in conserving energy for this weekend’s GC throwdown to Snowbasin Resort and Empire Pass.
Most Aggressive Rider after Stage 3
1. Rob Britton
Stage 3 Results
1. Travis UNITEDHEALTHCARE USA 4.04’47” 15″
2. * PHILIPSEN Jasper HAGENS BERMAN AXEON BEL 4.04’47” 6″
3. AVILA VANEGAS Edwin Alcibiades ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY COL 4.04’47” 5″
4. CASTILLO SOTO Ulises Alfredo JELLY BELLY pb MAXXIS MEX 4.04’47” 1″
5. * CIMA Imerio NIPPO-VINI FANTINI-EUROPA OVINI ITA 4.04’47”
6. * COTE Pier-Andre SILBER PRO CYCLING CAN 4.04’47”
7. BASSETTI Samuel ELEVATE-KHS PRO CYCLING USA 4.04’47”
8. MAGNER Tyler RALLY CYCLING USA 4.04’47”
9. * POWLESS Neilson TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO USA 4.04’47” 2″
10. REIJNEN Kiel TREK-SEGAFREDO USA 4.04’47”
General Classification after Stage 3
1. KUSS Sepp TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO USA 11.54’24”
2. * POWLESS Neilson TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO USA 11.54’43” 19″
3. VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM USA 11.54’49” 25″
4. WOODS Michael EF-DRAPAC pb CANNONDALE CAN 11.55’00” 36″
5. MURPHY Kyle RALLY CYCLING USA 11.55’01” 37″
6. DOMBROWSKI Joseph Lloyd EF-DRAPAC pb CANNONDALE USA 11.55’02” 38″
7. MANNION Gavin UNITEDHEALTHCARE USA 11.55’02” 38″
8. CARTHY Hugh John EF-DRAPAC pb CANNONDALE GBR 11.55’02” 38″
9. HAIG Jack MITCHELTON-SCOTT AUS 11.55’04” 40″
10. BOOKWALTER Brent BMC RACING TEAM USA 11.55’04” 40″