For six years the UnitedHealthcare Teams Rory Sutherland has raced in the United States biggest stage races, and for six years he has done well, landing on the podium and placing in the top 10 of these races multiple times. But today, thanks to a complete team effort and gusty performance by the highly decorated rider, Sutherland accomplished what he had yet been unable to do and secured his first stage win at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
After nearly five and one-half hours of racing amidst scorching temperatures and over four rugged mountain climbs covering a total of 211.9km (131.7 miles), the Australian separated himself from a small group of riders coming off the final climb at the North Ogden pass. Coming into downtown Ogden, Sutherland launched a full sprint effort inside the final 200 meters to cross the finish line ahead of Liquigas-Cannondales Damiano Caruso and BMC Racing Teams Brent Bookwalter, who finished second and third respectively.
We came into the last climb all grouped up and once I hit that one I knew I was feeling good and I could go with it, I just had to make it over with the top 10-20 guys and just wait. Coming in toward the finish, there were so many attacks coming in and then (Dave) Zabriskes (Garmin-Sharp) gone away by himself and we had Ben and Philip in there. I told them you have to close down every single gap you see because I need to get to the last corner grouped up with the other guys. They were tremendous and did a great job so you feel it on your shoulders that its your responsibility to finish your job.
Ive done this enough and luckily enough crits that I know where I need to be in a group like that coming through the last corner. Its been nearly six years trying to win a race of this size in the U.S., the Utahs, Colorados, Californias, the Missouris and Georgias. Ive been on the podium I think in every single one for a stage and now Ive finally got one, Sutherland concluded.