Stage two of the Tour of Utah proved hugely successful for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, with two yellow jerseys and a stage win for the riders. Kiel Reijnen defended his lead in the general classification in the men’s race, ensuring he’ll start Wednesday’s stage three in yellow. In the women’s event, Coryn Rivera sprinted to victory, followed by teammate Hannah Barnes in second, which secured the overall victory for the British rider.
The downtown criterium in the center of Ogden saw plenty of early action as riders fought to break free from the grasps of the pack. With vastly improved weather compared to stage one, the dry streets and warm temperatures made for fast racing. Team UnitedHealthcare rode on the front of the pack for the majority of the day, ensuring the field would stay together and the race would come down to a sprint finish.
True to form, the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train began its famous lead out with three laps to go, upping the pace and preventing moves from taking hold on the front. Much to the pack’s surprise, Rivera hit the front early with three corners to go, gapping her opponents and forcing them to work. Hannah Barnes, sitting comfortably at the head of the race, utilized this tactical distraction to sprint from behind, crossing the line just inches behind Rivera.
The second place finish on the day was enough to vault Barnes into first place in the general classification for the omnium event, sealing overall victory for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team at the 2015 Tour of Utah Women’s Edition.
In the men’s event, Kiel Reijnen kept hold of his yellow jersey during a long and challenging stage from Tremonton to Ogden.
With Reijnen invested in keeping his jersey for the team after his triumphant victory on stage one, he rode at the front of the race for most of the day, ensuring he made the selection as the race climbed the Category 3 slopes of Ogden Canyon.
With the day’s breakaway already caught, the pack was altogether as they rode under the finish line for the first time, with just three laps of the downtown circuit remaining. The tense finishing laps saw plenty of opportunist attacks that were covered by the riders in Blue and White. Janez Brajkovič took a huge pull on the front of the peloton, keeping the pace high enough so that Reijnen would hold his lead into day three.
Stage three of the Men’s Tour of Utah starts today on Antelope Island – the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. From here the road pitches up, as the riders tackle the North Ogden Divide, a punchy category 3 climb. The day then heads south towards Bountiful, where the pack will take on two 9-mile laps on the Mountain Bench. Look for the General Classification contenders to stretch their legs at the end of today’s stage, and watch out for the likely breakaway groups that will try to escape on the way into Bountiful. The stage will cover 109 miles in total, with 6,400 feet of elevation gain.