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Aug 9, 2015 – Young American Joe Dombrowski of Team Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling fended off the top cyclists in the world and earned the top prize at the 2015 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in front of huge crowds in Park City on Sunday.
Tour of Utah
“It was a great week for us as a team. I’ll definitely remember yesterday’s stage, winning the stage and taking yellow. It was really a great team effort today. They did a super job controlling the race going into the final climb, and then put me in the right spot, and from there, it was just follow everybody,” said the 24-year-old Dombrowski, riding his first year with Team Can nondale-Garmin. He finished fourth overall at the 2012 Tour of Utah while riding for the Trek-Livestrong team.
Stage 7 presented by VLCM/Barracuda found a select group of riders battling for the overall victory on the Hors Category (HC) climb of Empire Pass, one of the hardest climbs in the world, followed by the thrilling descent into Park City. Two riders escaped atop the 10-kilometer climb with Australian Lachlan Norris of Drapac Professional Cycling and American Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing Team. Blasting downhill at speeds reaching 60 miles per hour, Norris out dueled Bookwalter for the Stage 7 win.
Norris finished the 78-mile stage in a time of three hours and 14 minutes, with Bookwalter on his wheel. Natnael Berhane (Eritrea) of Team MTN-Qhubeka presented by Samsung led the seven-rider chase group across the finish line for third place, 20 seconds later.
“I was pretty excited. It’s a big win for me and huge for the team as well,” Norris said of the biggest victory of his seven-year career. “I knew the descent pretty well. I actually said to the mechanic this morning to let 10 psi out [of the tire pressure] and I’ll give it a red-hot crack on the descent, so I had that as a plan.”
The 11th edition of the Tour of Utah, known as “America’s Toughest Stage RaceTM” included 712 miles of racing and 51,442 feet of elevation gain for the 2.HC stage race. Over the course of seven days of hard racing, four different riders wore the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Overall Leader’s yellow jersey until Dombrowski climbed into the lead on the Queen Stage Saturday.
“I think it’s a pretty difficult race,” added Dombrowski. “It’s kind of the perfect storm of things that makes it a pretty tough race. But I think that’s what is great about it. Maybe some of the other American races are lacking a little bit in that regard, in terms of really defining stages. Colorado is interesting because it’s a bit more tactical, but they don’t have really hard climbs like this.”
At the post-race press conference in Park City, Jenn Andrs, executive director of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, announced that the 2016 men’s professional stage race will take place August 1-7.
“It exceeded our expectations this year with some tremendous winners and some wonderful racing. I’d like to recognize our champion Joe Dombrowski with the Can nondale-Garmin team, and also the winner of our women’s race, Hannah Barnes from UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. Both are tremendous champions of the Tour of Utah and we look forward to them coming back in 2016,” stated Andrs.
With a final time of 28 hours, six minutes and 48 seconds, Dombrowski claimed the overall victory at the Tour of Utah. Canadian Michael Woods of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies finished second, 50 seconds back. Bookwalter moved up to third overall in the general classification with his second-place finish on Stage 7. Pre-race favorites Fränk Schleck (Luxembourg) of Trek Factory Racing and Chris Horner (USA) of Airgas Safeway Cycling Team finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Salt Lake City resident Robbie Squire (USA) of Hincapie Racing Team retained his ninth-place on G.C.
“Going into today, my dream scenario that I was envisioning was winning the stage, getting onto the podium and getting the points jersey. That was the ideal outcome,” said Bookwalter who also won the Utah Sports Commission Sprint Leader jersey. “I did two out of three. I came up a couple hundred (yards) short on the third of three. I’m proud of my ride and I am really proud of my boys here this week.”
Berhane was awarded the Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey. Greg Daniel (USA) of Axeon Cycling Team successfully defended the Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain Leader jersey. Placing eighth overall put 19-year old Daniel Martinez (Colombia) of Team Colombia in the Subaru Best Young Rider jersey. Fans selected Taylor Phinney (USA) of BMC Racing Team as the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite in the Best Overall Fan Favorite category. Team Colombia won the Washakie Renewable Energy Best Team classification.
Final kilometers of Stage 7
Results Stage 7:
1. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 3:14:51
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:20
4. Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
5. Christopher Horner (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team
6. Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
7. Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
8. Daniel Martínez (Col) Colombia
9. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
10. Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop 0:00:48
1. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 28:06:48
2. Michael Woods (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:00:50
3. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:05
4. Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:07
5. Christopher Horner (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team 0:01:09
6. Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 0:01:12
7. Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN – Qhubeka 0:01:22
8. Daniel Martínez (Col) Colombia 0:01:41
9. Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team 0:01:46
10. Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 0:01:50