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Tour of Utah Stage 2 – Chase to Torrey

Escalante to Torrey

Stage two was another monster on paper and again rolled through iconic terrain in Southern Utah's high desert. Through a living textbook of geological formations, the peloton was confronted with another massive uphill stretch before the chance at another sprint in downtown Torrey. Only the best legs would survive.

Rally's sprinters, Pierrick Naud and Eric Young, made it safely over the hump with the lead group, but just barely. A high altitude stage with thousands of feet of climbing is a tall order for the beefier builds of these flatlanders, and in the end, it proved too taxing for the team to truly contest the sprint. Relief tomorrow? We think not. The race's climbs only gets more daunting from here on out, and the team will shift its tactics to hunt for stage wins and overall position with its talented climbers.
How it Went Down

The second stage of the Tour of Utah saw an aggressive start that put many riders in trouble early on the 180 kilometer route. An hour of attacks on the rollout from Escalante kept the peloton strung out before two riders, Robin Carpenter (Holowesko – Citadel) and Ruben Campanioni (Jamis) broke clear on the lower slopes of Boulder Mountain. The two extended their lead over the peloton to 7:00 at the top. With Silber setting the pace in defense of Matteo Dal-Cin’s overall lead, Rally Cycling stayed safe in the peloton, watching after team sprinters Eric Young and Pierrick Naud.

With a downhill and rolling course to the finishing circuits around Torrey, the peloton knew it would have to chase hard to reel in the two leaders. As Silber faded from the front, Rally Cycling took up the chase with Tom Zirbel, Danny Pate and Adam De Vos putting in huge efforts. With the team driving the peloton, the gap dropped to 4:35 by the time they entered the finishing circuits. Despite the peloton closing in on the escaped duo, Carpenter and Campanioni refused to give up. When other teams failed to cooperate, the gap became locked at the four-minute mark.

In wasn’t until the final 15 kilometers that Trek-Segafredo and Cannondale-Drapac came to the front to aid in the chase. Unfortunately, the help would come too late for Rally Cycling to lead out Young and Naud for a run at the stage victory. Naud finished 13th to be the top placed rider for Rally Cycling.

"We weren’t sure that Eric would make it over the climb in the lead group today. We thought it was possible but not probable. When he did make it, we were all in for Eric. We starting chasing back the huge gap Carpenter and Campanioni had, but on the final circuit Eric said he wasn’t feeling good, so that was the end of it. If Eric had felt great today we would have had all eight riders on the front trying to bring back the two escapees." – Jonas Carney

Behind the Scenes

"We can fit seven bikes and six wheels on the top of the Acura. We achieve this by using what we call "ghost bars" – two bars mounted only the trays, not the actual stock roof rack. It allows the fork mounts to be pushed forward enough so you can reach them to get bikes on and off. It also gives us more space for the spare wheel racks in the back. Then normal setup would hold four bikes." – Mechanic Eric Maresjo

Adam DeVos is racing the Tour of Utah after a slow recovery from broken ribs, a lacerated liver, and a ton of road rash he suffered in June at the North Star Grand Prix. We asked Adam how it feels to be racing at such a high level again.

"The fitness definitely isn't where I want it to be but I just want to do my job out there, work as hard as I can. My chest was getting pretty sore today. I think the more I ride the drops, do big descents, and do the supertuck it gets a little tight in there but it's nothing I can't push through."

 
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Dawson (front right, yellow shirt) and his friends were spotted in Torrey.
 

"I like bikes because I can go do awesome jumps with them. Right on the mountain. My favorite place to ride is down by my house." – Dawson