Tour of Utah: Craig Lewis takes first stage race jersey of his career
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tour of Utah: Craig Lewis takes first stage race jersey of his career

by VeloNation Press at 9:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Vivint Most Aggressive rider award for Champion System rider

Craig LewisChampion System rider Craig Lewis has been a pro bike rider since 2007 years and ended a long wait yesterday when he took the first stage race jersey of his career at the Tour of Utah.

The American was awarded the Vivint Most Aggressive rider jersey after Friday's fourth stage of the race, earning the prize due to his attacking during the circuit race stage at Salt Lake City.

Lewis attacked approximately halfway through the 54.4 kilometre stage and got clear with Francisco Mancebo (5-hour Energy/Kenda) and Marsh Cooper (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies). These were then joined by Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard) and Chris Baldwin (Bissell Pro Cycling) and together they knuckled down and opened a 25 second lead.

The gap came down closer to the end and this prompted Lewis to clip away alone. He said that taken the most aggressive prize was foremost in his mind when he made his move.

“I knew they'd be giving away the jersey and I was 100 percent sure they'd give it to Jens Voigt unless I did something,” he explained. “I got away and Jens couldn't go with me. It felt great. I was suffering but it was encouraging to see the riders behind me suffering more.”

Lewis was reeled in inside the final kilometre but he had done enough to take the jersey. The team’s general manager Ed Beamon was pleased with how things worked out. “Craig is really good at reading a race,” he stated. “He has a good sense for the right time and came out of the blocks looking for it.”

The Pro Continental squad has two riders well positioned in the overall standings. Stagiaire Gregory Brenes is sitting in a fine fifth overall, 44 seconds behind Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp), while Chris Butler is a further eleven seconds back in seventeenth place.

Their final GC position will depend on how they fare today and tomorrow, with two tough climbing stages awaiting them. Today’s race to the summit of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is the more difficult of the two, and Beamon said that the goal is to help them achieve the best possible result.

“Gregory and Chris Butler are on good form,” he said. “Our main objective is to protect those two guys and give them a shot on the final climb.”

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