Aug 8, 2015 – American Joe Dombrowski of Team Cannondale-Garmin accelerated away from an elite group to win Stage 6 presented by University of Utah Health Care at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Saturday. Dombrowski soloed to victory on the legendary seven-mile climb of Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in a time of five hours and 20 seconds.
Tour of Utah
A former Best Young Rider classification winner at the 2012 Tour of Utah, Dombrowski waited until the steeper pitches of the final seven miles to attack the whittled-down peloton. He was able to bridge across to his teammate Ben King (USA), one of the last survivors of the early breakaway. Less than a mile later, Dombrowski crossed the finish line for a solo stage win and overcame a 27-second deficit to take the overall race lead in the General Classification.
Wearing the leader’s yellow jersey on Stage 6, Michael Woods (Canada) of Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies led the chase group. Also in his group were pre-race favorites Fränk Schleck (Luxembourg) of Trek Factory Racing; Eritrea National Road Champion Natnael Berhane of Team MTN-Qhubeka presented by Samsung; and Chris Horner (USA) of Airgas Safeway Cycling Team. Woods took the four-man sprint for second place on the stage, crossing the line one minute and 17 seconds behind the stage winner. Berhane finished third, with Schleck and Horner in fourth and fifth, respectively.
“I knew that I had a little bit of a deficit to make up, so I figured just chance it and go early. We had Ben (King) in the breakaway and it worked out perfectly, actually,” Dombrowski said. “I figured as soon as it got steep that I would go to the front and do my thing. I knew maybe [Frank] Schleck or [Chris] Horner, Mike Woods also, would be on my wheel. But with the tailwind it kind of blew up the race, so I figured I would go early and hit it hard.”
The stage win for Dombrowski put him in the Larry H. Miller Dealerships overall leader’s jersey, with a 50-second time advantage on the G.C. over Woods. Schleck moved seven spots to third overall, one minute and seven seconds down. Horner, who finished second overall at the Tour of Utah in 2013 and 2014, jumped to fourth spot on G.C., one minute and nine seconds behind Dombrowski. Utahn Robbie Squire (USA) of Hincapie Racing Team was very active at the front on Stage 6, finishing 11th on the stage and moving up three spots on G.C. to ninth overall.
“Two podiums in two days is pretty crazy considering I hadn’t podium’ed at this level of a race yet, so definitely really special. For the team, we’ve had three podiums in three days so that’s pretty cool. It was a good day,” commented Woods about the success of his Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies team at the Tour of Utah.
After two difficult years which included injuries, this victory was a great sign of progress for Dombrowski. “I came into this season, having changed teams in the off-season and looked at everything as a fresh start. This is like my first year again. I’m just going to start from zero and see what I can do. I’ve been happy with the progress so far and I think this is the best yet. I’m really excited to defend tomorrow and try and win this race overall.”
King, who helped his teammate in the final climb after spending 90 miles in the break, was awarded the Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey. “From the start of the day the only reason that there was for me to be in the break was to help Joe on Snowbird, and everything went perfectly. It was really cool when I saw Joe coming across, ‘oh yeah it’s on’.”
The Tour of Utah’s “Queen Stage” lived up to its reputation as one of cycling’s most demanding days in the saddle, with 12,959 feet of climbing and four Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain climbs. The consecutive hard climbs decimated both the early 12-rider break and the peloton over the course of 110 miles.
Finishing 10th on the stage, Colombian Daniel Martinez of Team Colombia moved up to seventh overall to become the Subaru Best Young Rider. Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team recaptured the Utah Sports Commission Sprint Leader jersey. Fans selected Robin Carpenter (USA) of Hincapie Racing Team as the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite in the Best Ambassador (Statesman) category.
Stage 7 presented by VLCM/ Barracuda uses the same course that has been used since 2013. Starting on Park City’s Historic Main Street at 12:20 p.m. MT, the 78-mile race moves through the rich farmlands of Summit and Wasatch Counties to a final battle on one of the toughest climbs in the world at Empire Pass. This six-mile climb has a gradient that averages 10 percent, with pitches greater than 20 percent. Once conquered, riders will blast downhill at speeds of over 60 mph while maneuvering to cross the finish line on Main Street.
Final kilometers of Stage 6
Results Stage 6:
1. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 5:00:20
2. Michael Woods (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:01:17
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka
4. Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
5. Christopher Horner (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team
6. Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:01:44
7. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 0:01:54
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
9. Walter Pedraza (Col) Colombia
10. Daniel Martínez (Col) Colombia
1. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 24:51:37
2. Michael Woods (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:00:50
3. Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:07
4. Christopher Horner (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team 0:01:09
5. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka 0:01:26
6. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:31
7. Daniel Martínez (Col) Colombia 0:01:41
8. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 0:01:42
9. Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team 0:01:46
10. Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 0:01:50