You might think that riding on one road for nearly the entire stage would be boring, but with so much unique terrain, Utah's Highway 12 is anything but boring. Throw on top of the scenery a little bit of topography and some full gas racing, and you've got the makings for excitement. Needless to say, the first 50km of the stage today were anything but easy and boring. The race for the break was all out. Silber had the leader's jersey, but they opted to try and go in the breakaways to avoid riding all day, so chaos ensued. Our goal was to get Jaramillo in again in order to defend and expand his lead in the KOM jersey. He and the team did nearly everything we could to get him in, but things didn't work out. Not all was lost though as only 2 guys were up the road, so a few points were left on top of the second climb. Jaramillo did win the sprint, but the guy who was behind him had won the first KOM so he leapt over him in the standings.
Once the two leaders were gone and things settled down a bit, Silber started to ride as usual. Once we plunged down into Torrey for the two finishing circuits it became evident that they were not going to be able to close the gap by themselves. No one seemed willing to help so they stopped riding. Quickly a couple other teams came to drive the chase, but the two leaders held incredibly strong to the finish. Their gap was still 2 minutes at the line, so the day was foiled for the sprinters again. As for our team, we didn't lose the gc race which is the big picture, but we did miss out on another sprint chance for Marco or Tanner, and Jaramillo lost the KOM jersey. That's racing though.
Tomorrow's stage is a repeat of a couple years ago. It is flat for a long time, followed by a BIG climb and descent to the finish. Mt Nebo is anything but cake, so it is unclear what will happen. I don't suspect it will be a big gc shake up, but the group will be small. Time will tell what happens!