1 month agoby Tom Soladay

Murphy, Britton top ten on Powder Mountain 🏔

Strong performances at Tour of Utah net lead in Team Classification

The Tour of Utah’s queen stage to Powder Mountain is arguably one of the most difficult summit finishes in the world of cycling. At 14 km in length and with gradients reaching 16%, rider’s legs and lungs are screaming when they reach the finish line located 8,900 ft feet above sea level.

Kyle Murphy and 2017 Tour of Utah Champion Rob Britton conquered the infamous climb, finishing in sixth and seventh, moving them into sixth and eighth on GC. Gavin Mannion overcame six stitches in his knee to finish in 14th and move the team into the lead in the Team Classification, 50 seconds ahead of Trek-Segafredo.

Murphy, Mannion, and Britton climbing together with 10 km remaining.

“We knew Powder Mountain was going to be a really difficult time,” said Britton. “I had good legs at the bottom of the climb and tried to take advantage of that when I could. I just didn’t quite have enough to go with the top guys at the end.”

Inside the final 8 km of the climb, Britton moved to the front of the vastly diminished group.

“I just wanted to keep the pace high as I knew there were a lot of guys who were sitting right on the edge and a little bit more pace would crack them and it did,” said Britton. “I knew Kyle was on a good day and I figured Gavin was going pretty well too.”

When the race’s top climbers began to attack, Britton was distanced.

“It’s such a hard climb that you just have to settle into your pace and ride your own race,” said Britton. “You can’t give up so you just have to sit in a very uncomfortable reality for a very long time.

Kyle Murphy proved on the slopes of Powder Mountain that his storming ride during Monday’s opening prologue was no fluke, successfully defending his high position in the overall. With four challenging stages remaining, he’s excited for more.

“We have the numbers and the depth in our team to be aggressive,” said Murphy. “I can’t wait to try something in the coming days.”

Stage 3 starts at Antelope Island State Park and heads to North Salt Lake where the peloton faces five ascents of the Bountiful climb. Breakaways have succeeded here in the past but recent changes have made the climb even more difficult, favoring climbers once again.

Stage 2 results
1 HERMANS Ben ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY BEL 3.37’44” 10″
2 PICCOLI James ELEVATE-KHS PRO CYCLING CAN 3.38’04” 20″ 6″
3 EG Niklas TREK-SEGAFREDO DEN 3.38’19” 35″ 4″
4 STETINA Peter TREK-SEGAFREDO USA 3.38’42” 58″
5 DOMBROWSKI Joseph Lloyd EF EDUCATION FIRST USA 3.39’10” 1’26”
6 MURPHY Kyle RALLY UHC CYCLING USA 3.39’15” 1’31”
7 BRITTON Robert RALLY UHC CYCLING CAN 3.39’20” 1’36”
8 ALMEIDA João HAGENS BERMAN AXEON POR 3.39’38” 1’54”
9 BADILATTI Matteo ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY SUI 3.40’21” 2’37”
10 BOWDEN Scott TEAM BRIDGELANE AUS 3.40’36” 2’52”

GC standings after stage 2
1 HERMANS Ben ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY BEL 7.10’07”
2 PICCOLI James ELEVATE-KHS PRO CYCLING CAN 7.10’33” 26″
3 EG Niklas TREK-SEGAFREDO DEN 7.10’59” 52″
4 STETINA Peter TREK-SEGAFREDO USA 7.11’17” 1’10”
5 DOMBROWSKI Joseph Lloyd EF EDUCATION FIRST USA 7.11’40” 1’33”
6 MURPHY Kyle RALLY UHC CYCLING USA 7.11’42” 1’35”
7 ALMEIDA João HAGENS BERMAN AXEON POR 7.11’53” 1’46”
8 BRITTON Robert RALLY UHC CYCLING CAN 7.11’54” 1’47”
9 CRADDOCK Lawson EF EDUCATION FIRST USA 7.13’03” 2’56”
10 BADILATTI Matteo ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY SUI 7.13’05” 2’58”

Team Classification standings after stage 2
1. RALLY UHC CYCLING RLY 21.37’23”
2. TREK-SEGAFREDO TFS 21.38’13” 50″
3. ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY ICA 21.39’23” 2’00”
4. EF EDUCATION FIRST EF1 21.40’50” 3’27”
5. HAGENS BERMAN AXEON HBA 21.45’24” 8’01”