Tour of Utah: Jesse Anthony takes impressive stage one victory
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tour of Utah: Jesse Anthony takes impressive stage one victory

by Kyle Moore at 10:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Overall leader Henao defends jersey, Leipheimer, Sevilla gain 2:30 in breakaway

Jesse AnthonyJesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-Optum Health) sprinted to victory out of a five-man group in stage one of the Tour of Utah, besting a bunch of four overall favorites who broke away from the peloton on the final descent of North Ogden Pass.  Anthony was able to save energy in the final 30 kilometers while the quartet of Janez Brajkovic and Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack), Oscar Sevilla and overall leader Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia) worked to increase their overall lead on the disorganized peloton behind.

Though Anthony is not expected to be a contender in the overall classification, Brajkovic, Leipheimer, Sevilla, and Henao gained two and a half minutes on the other overall favorites.  With time bonuses accrued at the finish line, Henao and Sevilla both gained a few more seconds on Leipheimer, after the American lost two ticks to Sevilla and seven to Henao in yesterday’s prologue time trial.

Stage one was a 183-kilometer run that started and finished in Ogden.  The course featured three ascents of North Ogden Pass, an eight-kilometer climb that gained 600 meters in elevation.

A four-man breakaway was established as Jay Robert Thomson (Bissell Cycling), Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1), Bradley White (United HealthCare p/b Maxxis), and Roman Van Uden (PureBlack Racing) quickly built a lead of over two minutes.  Bertogliati took the first KOM points of the day as the breakaway’s lead increased.

A high early pace led to the abandonment of Chris Barton (BMC Racing Team) and an array of mechanical incidents meant some riders faced a difficult chase back to the main bunch – Leipheimer among them after a bike change.  Soon after the first sprint point, taken by Van Uden, the breakaway reached its maximum advantage of 8 minutes.

After Bertogliati again took maximum points on the second climb of North Ogden Pass, a chase group including Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad) accelerated off the main field on its descent of the pass, and while the move proved fruitless, it split the peloton to shreds.  With 111 kilometers to race, Anthony left the chase group and tore off after the leaders.

Thomson attacked his breakaway partners just as Anthony had finally bridged the two-minute gap.  On the final climb, Van Uden and White quickly dropped off, leaving Bertogliati and Anthony to chase the Bissell rider up the road.  With less than a kilometer to climb, Anthony rid himself of Bertogliati and came around Thomson.  The 26-year-old American went over the summit alone and tucked in for the final 40-kilometer push to the finish.

Coming off the descent, Anthony was joined by Brajkovic, Leipheimer, Sevilla, and Henao, who had slipped off the front of the main field.

The peloton realized the urgency of the moment, and a group that included Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com), Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo) and Jeff Louder (BMC Racing Team) tried to reel it in.  But they kept losing time, and as they were taken back by a peloton of 30, the time difference had ballooned from 45 seconds to over 2 minutes.

Though it originally appeared as if he was tiring, Anthony merely sat patiently behind his breakaway companions, utilizing their desire to gain time on the other contenders stuck in the peloton.

The quintet took a hard right-hander with 500 meters to go and Anthony opened up his sprint.  While the move seemed too soon, the others had tired out from the 40 kilometers of work, and the American took his biggest win of the season.

Tour of Utah Stage 1 brief results:

1  Jesse Anthony (USA)  Kelly Benefit Strategies-Optum Health
2  Sergio Henao (COL) Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia
3  Oscar Sevilla (ESP) Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia
4  Levi Leipheimer (USA)  Team Radioshack
5  Janez Brajkovic (SLO)  Team Radioshack

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