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Huffman Most Aggressive Rider in Utah

Murphy sprints to seventh, Huffman moves into fifth overall

Rally Cycling’s Evan Huffman won the Most Aggressive Rider jersey on stage one of the Tour of Utah today. The Californian attacked 20 km into the 168 km Cedar City stage with three others and built up a maximum lead of four minutes over the peloton. During his escape, Huffman earned a two-second time bonus at the intermediate sprint to move from ninth into fifth, just 10s back on race leader Tejay Van Garderen (BMC). Although Huffman’s bid for glory was eventually ended by the surging peloton, teammate Kyle Murphy sprinted to an impressive seventh place on the stage.

“The plan was for me to get into the breakaway and possibly go for the stage win,” said Huffman. “It took the pressure off the team so we didn’t have to chase and I was able to win a few points in the Mountains classification. I suffered a lot in the breakaway and it was a nice surprise to be rewarded with a jersey at the end of a long day.”

Huffman driving the breakaway.

Stage one in Cedar City featured the highest road in this year’s race, a 15-mile climb to Cedar Breaks National Monument that topped out at 10,600’. With the team’s main sprinter and last year’s stage one winner Ty Magner dropped on the climb, the team shifted gears and looked to Kyle Murphy and Nigel Ellsay for a reduced field sprint.

“Team Director Pat McCarty gave me the green light to have a go in the sprint going into the finishing circuits,” said Murphy. “This is my first top ten in a field sprint on this level. I remembered that Jonas Carney told us to stay left in the finale because there was a pinch point on the right, and he was right. I’m happy to have tried something new and had it work out so well!”

Kyle Murphy on the finishing circuits.

Tomorrow’s stage two in Payson consists of a 142 km loop and includes the infamous ascent of Mt. Nebo that is expected to shred the field. A select group of general classification contenders will likely contest the stage finish.

Most Aggressive Rider after Stage 1
1 Evan Huffman

Stage 1 Results
1 MCCABE Travis UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 4:17:04
2 CASTILLO Ulises Alfredo Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
3 AVILA Edwin Israel Cycling Academy
4 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team
5 REIJNEN Kiel Trek – Segafredo
6 CIMA Damiano Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini
7 MURPHY Kyle Rally Cycling
8 PONZI Simone Nippo – Vini Fantini – Europa Ovini
9 BOUWMAN Koen Team LottoNL-Jumbo
10 RICE Michael Hagens Berman Axeon

General Classification after Stage 1
1 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC RACING TEAM – 4:23:32
2 MCCABE Travis UNITEDHEALTHCARE – 4:23:34 +0:00:02
3 ROSSKOPF Joey BMC RACING TEAM – 4:23:36 +0:00:04
4 POWLESS Neilson TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO – 4:23:39 +0:00:07
5 HUFFMAN Evan RALLY CYCLING – 4:23:42 +0:00:10
6 EENKHOORN Pascal TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO – 4:23:43 +0:00:11
7 TVETCOV Serghei UNITEDHEALTHCARE – 4:23:43 +0:00:11
8 BROWN Nathan EF-DRAPAC pb CANNONDALE – 4:23:43 +0:00:11
9 BOUWMAN Koen TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO – 4:23:45 +0:00:13
10 DOMBROWSKI Joe EF-DRAPAC pb CANNONDALE – 4:23:45 +0:00:13