By David Hunter
Stage 2 Recap
My pick, Hofland, decided to take it easy with 1 eye on stage 3. We got a very gutsy break from Michael Schar of BMC. Despite cramping on the final descent, he somehow managed to keep the pedals moving and held off a charging peloton to take an excellent win. With Hofland out of the picture, Jure Kocjan won the sprint for 2nd. This was an important moment for the 29 year old Slovenian, as he took over the yellow jersey. In the GC battle, Janier Acevedo lost 11 minutes, so he isn’t over his bad health at the Tour. All the other GC riders finished safely in the bunch.
Stage 3 Lehi – Miller Motorsports Park 190.2km
With Kocjan leading the race for Team SmartStop, they will ensure a sprint finish to keep him in yellow and they’ll get help from Belkin. Moreno Hofland took it easy in stage 2, so expect him to be full of energy here. He is the best sprinter in the field by a mile, and barring accident he won’t be challenged.
The profile is not favourable for a break, with only 1 climb and a lot of flat ground. We’ll get the usual small break, with plenty of Americans, but it will be easy to control and a sprint is a certainty.
Hofland to win, but watch for the Latvian rider, Toms Skujins, who should challenge for a podium spot.
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