Australian Takes Over General Classification Race Lead at Tour of Utah
Morton Launches from Slopes of Mount Nebo to Stage 3 Win
By Lyne Lamoureux
August 3, 2016 – Payson, Utah – Lachlan Morton (Australia) of the Jelly Belly Cycling Team presented by MAXXIS powered away from his two break mates for a thrilling win on Stage 3 presented by America First Credit Union today at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The victory in downtown Payson put the 24-year-old in the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies race leader jersey. Morton covered the 119-mile course, the longest of the week which began in Richfield, in four hours and 24 minutes.
Morton attacked on the steep, lower slopes of Mount Nebo, the southernmost and highest mountain in the Wasatch Range of Utah. He was soon joined by Andrew Talansky of Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team. American Adrien Costa of Axeon Hagens Berman bridged up to the two escapees in a show of climbing strength. The trio worked well together to hold off hard-changing chase groups over the only Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain climb of the day that crested to 9,300 feet above sea level. An exhilarating 22-mile descent into Payson led to a three-man showdown.
“I came here wanting to do a good race. As a domestic rider, this race is as big as it gets. Everyone is really motivated. I won this stage (Richfield to Payson) last time, so I knew it really well. This morning we just said, ‘Let’s go for it’. We hadn’t really planned for it before today. It all worked out pretty much how we wanted it to, which rarely happens,” said Morton about his Jelly Belly Team strategy. Morton soloed to victory on this same stage 3 at the 2013 Tour of Utah.
“The team came here with one big goal, and that was to help me out. So far, my team has ridden above themselves. It’s going to be exciting,” added Morton on the team plans to defend the overall leader’s jersey. We raced in the Tour of Gila this year. We defended the jersey the whole race. I know this race has a different level of competition but it’s the same principal. We are gonna try.”
Runner-up Costa, the youngest rider in the race at 18 years of age, takes over the Subaru Best Young Rider classification jersey and the Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain jersey. Talansky finished third on Stage 3 presented by America First Credit Union.
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“Honestly I was not expecting to be climbing with these guys. It was really fun,” said Costa, who turns 19 on Aug. 19. “I may have done too much work in the beginning, something I have to learn about. Lachlan, at the end, showed his experience. Every day I am learning, hopefully getting stronger.”
Costa, who will be riding with the WorldTour Etixx-QuickStep team as a stagiaire for the rest of the season, added, “Coming into the race I knew we had three or four riders that could ride for the GC. This was my first race back from a good mid-season break. I was not sure personally how would be going. I was really focused on helping the team. I was feeling pretty good on the climb, and focusing on the climb. I was able to catch these two.”
The win gives Morton a seven-second General Classification (G.C.) lead over Costa and nine seconds on Talansky. BMC Racing Team’s Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Colombia) is fourth and Taylor “T.J.” Eisenhart, of Lehi, Utah, moves from 75th to seventh overall. American Robin Carpenter of Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team presented by Hincapie Sportswear dropped from first to eighth overall.
“This race is grown a lot since 2009. I was racing for a smaller team and I was really suffering. I don’t remember much about the race but do remember Snowbird being pretty tough. I was really tentative about coming back this year. I knew the altitude would be hard.” said Talansky about the first time he raced at the Tour of Utah. Since then, he has raced in seven Grand Tours. “This worked out nicely for my preparation for the Vuelta. So far so good. It has been fun being out here with Adrien and Lachlan. Moves like today so far from the finish rarely work. In a race like this, it actually can. It was fun.”
All three riders in the break seemed to have enjoyed the day. “I think you saw the whole way we were all working and pulling. We are all working on the descent and to the finish and that does not always happen,” Talansky continued. “Coming into the last one kilometer, I thought maybe someone would attack. I was suffering a bit. I was hoping I would have a bit of sprint left but Lachlan made a great move. I was thinking to myself I need to start sprinting. Up the climb Lachlan was the strongest. It is fitting that he got the stage.”
Simon Pellaud (Switzerland) of IAM Cycling, the last rider from the early breakaway to be reeled in after 80 miles in the saddle, was awarded the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Most Aggressive Rider jersey.
Pellaud escaped with five other riders in the first kilometers of the race. “I had no idea what my shape will be. I’m here getting in shape to get ready the Vuelta. It has been amazing to race in America. I am enjoying every day. I will keep trying to get in the breaks.” The young 23-old rider also spent time in the break on stage 1.
American Robin Carpenter of Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team presented by Hincapie Sportswear retained the Utah Sports Commission Sprint jersey. Talansky was voted America First Credit Union Fan Favorite for Stage 3, in the category of Best Climber.
Stage 4 presented by UnitedHealthcare will find the race returning to Salt Lake County for a 10th time in 12 years. On Thursday, Aug. 4, the race will start on the corporate campus of IM Flash in Lehi. The 96-mile (154.4 km) route looks flat on paper, but will traverse a 28-mile stretch of the Mountain View Corridor (MVC) in the foothills of the Oquirrh Mountains. The racers will complete two and a half laps of the MVC freeway for two Utah Sports Commission Sprint line prizes and a total of 70 miles, then drop into the township of Kearns for the first time. There will be three challenging laps of a four-mile circuit that finishes adjacent to the Utah Olympic Oval, site of the long track speed skating events for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. This five-acre facility is known as the “Fastest Ice on Earth” and is the home to more than 100 world records in speed skating.
Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Award Jerseys
- Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Overall Leader jersey – Lachlan Morton (AUS), Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS
- Utah Sports Commission Sprint jersey – Robin Carpenter (USA), Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team presented by Hincapie Sportswear
- Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain jersey – Adrien Costa (USA), Axeon Hagens Berman
- Subaru Best Young Rider jersey – Adrien Costa (USA), Axeon Hagens Berman
- Larry H. Miller Dealerships Most Aggressive Rider jersey – Simon Pellaud (SUI), IAM Cycling
- America First Credit Union Fan Favorite jersey – Andrew Talansky (USA), Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling
Stage 3 presented by America First Credit Union – Top 10
1. MORTON Lachlan (AUS), JELLY BELLY PRESENTED BY MAXXIS – 4.24’49”
2. COSTA Adrien (USA), AXEON HAGENS BERMAN – 4.24’52”
3. TALANSKY Andrew (USA), CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING – 4.24’52”
4. ROSSKOPF Joseph (USA), BMC RACING TEAM – 4.26’11”
5. BRITTON Rob (CAN), RALLY PRO CYCLING – 4.26’11”
6. ATAPUMA HURTADO Darwin (COL), BMC RACING TEAM – 4.26’11”
7. EISENHART Taylor (Lehi, Utah, USA), BMC RACING TEAM – 4.26’11”
8. REIJNEN Kiel (USA), TREK-SEGAFREDO – 4.28’46”
9. CARPENTER Robin (USA), HOLOWESKO/CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR – 4.28’46”
10. CLARKE Jonathan (AUS), UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM – 4.28’46”
General Classification (After Stage 3) – Top 10
1. MORTON Lachlan (AUS), JELLY BELLY PRESENTED BY MAXXIS – 11.30’53”
2. COSTA Adrien (USA), AXEON HAGENS BERMAN – 11.31’00”
3. TALANSKY Andrew (USA), CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING – 11.31’02”
4. ATAPUMA HURTADO Darwin (COL), BMC RACING TEAM – 11.32’25”
5. ROSSKOPF Joseph (USA), BMC RACING TEAM – 11.32’25”
6. BRITTON Rob (CAN), RALLY PRO CYCLING – 11.32’25”
7. EISENHART Taylor (Lehi, Utah, USA), BMC RACING TEAM – 11.32’27”
8. CARPENTER Robin (USA), HOLOWESKO/CITADEL P/B HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR – 11.32’37”
9. POWLESS Neilson (USA), AXEON HAGENS BERMAN – 11.35’00”
10. GEOGHEGAN HART Tao (USA), AXEON HAGENS BERMAN – 11.35’00”