By David Hunter
Stage 1 Recap
What a boring day! Belkin controlled the peloton and set an extremely slow pace, to ensure that Hofland wasn’t dropped. The riders in the break were weak and the slow pace of the peloton, was still enough to keep the lead at 3 minutes. All the riders in the peloton were content to sit and tap away on the pedals. Belkin got the sprint they wanted and Hofland took the expected win.
Stage 2 Panguitch – Torrey 210.3km
The riders face another challenging day in the saddle with 4 categorised climbs. These climbs get progressively harder throughout the day, ending with the cat 1 ascent of Boulder Mountain. This climb is well known to all the American riders, as it is a regular training route.
The climb itself is around 22.5km at 4.2%. Just like in stage 1, the climb isn’t too hard ,on paper, but the altitude increases the difficulty. The climb tops out at just under 3000 metres.
After the riders crest the climb they have just over 30km remaining. This makes a late attack have a good chance of success.
Will the peloton be happy with Belkin setting a slow pace on the climb to ensure another sprint win for Hofland?
Garmin tried to put Howes in the stage 1 break and I hope they do something similar today. The break needs a better quality of rider to have a chance of survival. If we got a few riders from smaller teams, it will be easy for Belkin to set up Hofland.
It was good to see Mohoric attack on the descent in stage 1. He flies downhill and this descent looks even better for him. If we got a small group going off the front, on the descent, they will have a fair chance of survival.
The willy old dog that is Cadel Evans, managed to get on the right side of a split in stage 1 and gained 5 seconds on the GC riders. He’ll be attentive as ever in stage 2.
The racing will be as slow as in stage 1, meaning that Hofland will survive the climb and take another easy win.
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