The team continued to gather momentum yesterday when Eric Young showed off his finishing kick by sprinting to third in stage 3 of the Tour of Utah. Young and the rest of the Orange & Black train battled the desert elements on the unique and technical closing circuits at the speedy tarmac of Miller Motorsports Park. The team positioned Young perfectly for the finishing sprint while a small foible on the track had different plans for the Orange & Black–a sign for the 200 meter mark, placed too deep on the inside of the final corner ,forced Young to hit the brakes slightly and helped keep him from getting the jump and subsuquent victory his team had aimed for.
The team looks forward to today’s fourth stage, taking the peloton from Ogden to the imposing finish atop Powder Mountain, with 3,000 feet of climbing in just 6 minutes. Look for Carter Jones, currently 11th overall, to make moves on one of Utah’s steepest slopes.
Performance Director Jonas Carney reports on Young’s podium finish against some of the World Tour’s top sprinters.
“Today was stage three of the Tour of Utah. A 190k course from Lehi, UT to the Miller Motor Speedway. It was our second chance to contest a field sprint and we had high hopes for Eric Young. On stage one Eric finished fourth despite starting his sprint with poor position, and we hoped to improve on that finish.
The plan from the get go was to do as little as possible all day, and have the entire team rally around Eric to help him contest the sprint. We knew that the finishing circuits would be hot, windy, and technical, and Eric would need as much help as he could get with several big horsepower leadout trains in Belkin, Lampre-Media, and UnitedHealthcare gunning for a stage win.
Everything went to plan. The guys had a relatively easy day leading into the circuit,where they assembled like Voltron directly behind the Belkin train. They fought to maintain position and protect Eric until the final sprint. Coming out of the final curve, with less than 300 meters to go, Eric was in good position and hit out on the inside. Unfortunately, the 200 meter to go sign, being held down by a bag of sand, was actually in the road instead of on the side of the road. In order to avoid crashing, Eric was forced to hit his brakes mid-sprint. Somehow he managed to recover and still finish an impressive third behind World Tour sprinters from Belkin and Lampre.
Tomorrow is the first real climbing day, finishing at the top of Powder Mountain, and we are excited to see what Carter Jones can do. Friday will be our final chance at a field sprint and we will be fully committed again to setting up Eric Young.”