By David Hunter
Stage 5 Recap
Jens Voigt got in the break and did all he could to take one last stage win, but he failed! The dirt roads provided some much needed excitement but didn’t prove to be decisive. Moreno Hofland quit the stage early on, so the American teams sensed the opportunity to claim a rare stage win. Eric Young of Optum Kelly Benefit Strategies, launched his sprint from a long way out but nobody could get past him. Kocjan finished in second place, with Reijnen third.
Stage 6 Salt Lake City – Snowbird 172.6km
We arrive at the second mountaintop finish and the day to settle the GC. On the menu is two very difficult climbs, in the last 50km of the race. Guardsmans Pass is 11.3km at 7.3%, before Snowbird, 12.2km at 7.6%.
It will be very interesting to see the tactics of Garmin-Sharp. Danielson is safe in yellow, so they might be happy to let a break go away. Or, they might be greedy and give Tommy D the chance to win another stage. He certainly showed he is the best climber in the race, and copes extremely well with the high altitude.
The Brazilian climber, Diniz, interests me. He finished 5th on Powder Mountain, despite having attacked on the penultimate climb and wasted a lot of energy. He’s not a threat to Danielson, so might be allowed to attack on the final climb.
Lampre hav two cards to play: Horner and Anacona. Horner has been battling a cold and won’t take any risks with the Vuelta, only two weeks away.
Ben Hermans was great on Snowy Mountain, riding his own pace throughout the climb. He has a great chance of finishing 2nd on GC, which would be his best ever result.
Wilco Kelderman is another with one eye on the Vuelta. He suffered on Powder Mountain but will find this stage more to his liking. He is a magnificent, young rider and it would be good to see him get a stage win.
Other riders to keep an eye on are George Bennett and Carter Jones. Powder Mountain was too hard for them, but Snowbird is easier, although not easy!
It’s very hard to see past Danielson, but if a small group arrive together, I would say Kelderman. It all depends on the attitude of Garmin.
Robin Carpenter will want to make sure of the KOM jersey, so expect to see him in the morning break, along with a few other American riders. They’ll all hope that Garmin allow them a big lead.
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