What is it with this team? Jason Donald takes Stage 1 and Blake Caldwell, also of Garmin-Chipotle, comes back today to take Stage 2 of the 2008 Tour of Utah. With the stage win, Blake takes the GC lead.
Stage 2 of the Tour of Utah found the peleton starting in Ogden, UT and traveling 85 miles to Salt Lake City. Sounds easy right? Wrong! Between the start and finish were three climbs totaling 10,585 feet. The last climb occurred at mile 68 with the remainder down hill to the finish.
All the information I’ve read says the action was fast and furious on the entire stage with breaks starting early, getting caught, and more attacks after that. 60 mph descents were commonplace with several crashes forcing riders out of the race. There were 12 riders who did not finish. Unfortunately, it looks like Scott Nydam (BMC Pro Cycling) was one of the casualties when he went down hard and breaking a collar bone.
Caldwell and Lill made it over the last climb first with a 20-second advantage over an eleven man chase group. With only a 15-mile descent to Salt Lake City and the finish line you would think the group of eleven riders would have no problem catching the two leaders. That wasn’t the case though. There seemed to be a lot of confusion in the chase group nobody willing to pull them together to work as a cohesive unit until it was too late. That cost them and enabled Caldwell and Lill to open the gap back up to one minute. At the finish line it was Blake Caldwell beating Darren Lill by four seconds.
The current top ten in the GC are:
1. Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle) 07:37:40
2. Darren Lill (BMC Pro Cycling) 00:00:04
3. Jason Donald (Garmin/Chipotle) 00:00:18
4. Jeffry Louder (BMC Pro Cycling) 00:00:24
5. Brent Brookwalter (BMC Pro Cycling)
6. Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1)
7. Phil Zajicek (Team Health Net)
8. Cesar Grajales (Rock Racing)
9. Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing)
10. Oscar Rivera (Rock Racing) 00:00:28
The team standings are:
1. BMC Pro Cycling Team 22:54:06
2. Garmin/Chipotle 22:54:06
3. Rock Racing 22:54:24
4. Toyota?United 22:57:02
5. Team Type 1 22:57:02
6. Team Health Net 22:57:02
7. Bissell Pro Cycling Team 23:00:52
8. The Fan Sports Network 23:01:51
9. Jittery Joe’s Pro Cycling Team 23:02:11
10. Successful Living.com 23:05:04
Tomorrow’s twilight criterium should be a little easier on the riders but stage 4 with it’s 14,000 feet of climbing and mountain top finish at Snowbird are looming.
For a very detailed stage 2 race report, see this article by Neal Rogers at VeloNews.