After four intense days of racing punctuated by a grueling ascent to the top of Powder Mountain in yesterday’s fourth stage, Carter Jones sits 8th overall at the Tour of Utah. The only domestic pro to finish in the top ten Jones took the fight to the World Tour riders that surrounded him and grades that hit close to 16 percent in the final 7 miles to finish 2:31 behind stage winner Tom Danielson.
Stage five offers up a start in Evanston, Wyoming, the first time the race has crossed the Utah state border in its ten-year history. It throws another arduous climb at the peloton on Bald Mountain near the stage’s halfway mark before a long downhill drag should escort the leadout trains to the head of affairs for a sprint. Eric Young will look to improve upon his third place finish in stage 3 at the fast finale in Kamas.
Performance Director Jonas Carney reports on the team’s efforts and Jones’ impressive ascent to Powder Mountain.
Tour of Utah | Stage 4 | Ogden to Powder Mountain | 105 miles.
“Today our plan was to focus the entire team on supporting Carter Jones and escort him to the brutal 7 mile finishing climb up Powder Mountain.
The race was fast from the start and the first time up Ogden pass, 6 miles from the start, saw many of the races sprinters in trouble. Unfortunately we lost Brad Huff early on the climb and he was unable to come back as the speed of the peloton never relented.
The racing was aggressive all day, with dangerous GC riders going up the road and forcing the other World Tour teams to chase. Cando, Jesse, Young, Friedman, and Soladay spent the entire stage sheltering Carter from the wind and keeping him close to the front of the peloton.
Once we hit the second to last climb, Ogden Pass for a second time, it was up to Carter. He was alone in an elite group of 25 guys with no teammates. Carter did an amazing job on the final climb, following some of the best climbers in the world. He was not able to stay with the very strongest guys, but was right in the mix for a top five finish up until the end. Carter finished 8th place in a top ten stacked with World Tour riders and was the only domestic pro in the top 10.”