Rally Cycling’s Evan Huffman time trialed his way into ninth place at the opening prologue of the Tour of Utah today. The Californian covered the 5.3 km course in St. George in 6m 39s, 12 seconds behind stage winner Tejay Van Garderen (BMC). Defending Tour of Utah champion Rob Britton finished 17s down in 29th place.
“I’m really happy about finishing in the top ten,” said Huffman. “I usually prefer the longer time trials but I felt good today and I’m riding well.”
The prologue did not allow the use of time trial bikes so the riders took every advantage that they could. Time trial helmets, deep dish carbon wheels, shoe covers, and no bottle cages were the norm for the day.
The course was mostly uphill to the turnaround so many of the riders blasted out of the start gate knowing they had a downhill run into the finish.
“I went as hard as I could on the first hill which made the hill on the way back even worse because you’re so tired,” said Huffman. “You go from feeling really good to terrible really fast.”
Tomorrow’s stage one in Cedar City features the highest road in this year’s race, the 15-mile climb to Cedar Breaks National Monument that tops out at 10,600’. With 40 km separating the final climb and the finish, the sprinters should have enough time to catch the peloton and sprint it out for stage honors.
For a look at what lies in store for the riders at “America’s Toughest Stage Race,” read the Utah race preview here.
Prologue Results and General Classification Standings
1 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team 49.395 6:27
2 ROSSKOPF Joey BMC Racing Team 48.890 0:04
3 BOHLI Tom BMC Racing Team 48.641 0:06
4 POWLESS Neilson Team LottoNL-Jumbo 48.518 0:07
5 EENKHOORN Pascal Team LottoNL-Jumbo 48.030 0:11
6 TVETCOV Serghei UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 48.030
7 BROWN Nathan Team EF Education First-Drapac 48.030
8 MCCABE Travis UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 47.910 0:12
9 HUFFMAN Evan Rally Cycling 47.910
10 CLARKE William Team EF Education First-Drapac 47.910