A final day of racing brought Team RadioShacks Levi Leipheimer back to a familiar place in his former residence of Utah the top step of the podium in the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. After taking the yellow jersey in Fridays individual time trial, Leipheimer and the riders of Team RadioShack worked tirelessly to protect his lead and give him a repeat performance in the race tagged as Americas Toughest Stage Race. Todays queen stage of racing had more than 11,000 vertical feet/ 3353 meters of climbing from Park City to the famous ski area of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. Leipheimer won the general classification by 23-seconds to Sergio Henao.
In an agreement to acknowledge the incredible work all week of Sergio Henao and his team Gobernacion de Antioquia, Leipheimer didnt contest the sprint and stayed on the wheel as the Colombian claimed the stage win. In addition to pulling countless miles on the front all day, Jani Brajkovic rode away from his closest competitor to arrive third at the finish line, a spot he claims on the final podium as well.
It feels great, answered Leipheimer in reference to making it two-in-a-row. Im really proud of this. I lived here for a few years and I know the roads so it was very special today, especially coming up the last climb. It was like riding in the Tour de France. There were fans awesome. All along the alpine route there were large crowds throughout the day.
The Colombian team threw everything at us today, remarked Levi, referring to the Teams classification winners from Colombia. At one moment it was just Jani and I against four of them and Jani was pulling the entire way. Then some of my other teammates came back and showed their true fighting spirit. They got me to the bottom of the climb and then it was all up to me. Fortunately I felt great today. Leipheimer also won the King of the Mountains jersey.
Yesterday, the Colombians of Gobernacin de Antioquia caused us a lot of trouble. Today we had again the race under control but it was hard. We played it a bit tactically today. We let the other teams interested in other classifications do the hard work in the beginning so that we still had enough riders to counter the attacks of Oscar Sevilla and his Colombian teammates. said Team Directoer Alain Gallopin. “We had to beat them in their own territories: altitude, uphill and heat. Philip Deignan and Ben King did a tremendous job today and our young stagiaries surprised us here every day. This result is a result of work of the whole team. In the end it was up to Levi to stay in the wheels of Sergio Henao. He succeeded. Again a stage race victory for him.
For Levi Leipheimer the Tour of Utah is his 16th overall victory as a pro rider in a stage race. Earlier this year he won the Tour de Suisse too. At third overall, teammate Jani Brajkovic proved to be recovered from his bad crash and collar bone fracture and concussion in the Tour de France.
Jani is ready for the Tour of Spain,” concluded Alain Gallopin, Just as Levi Leipheimer is ready for the Tour of Colorado. The season is not over yet.