Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah 2019 Prologue

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“We’re really happy that we came away with the first stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. It’s a great confidence boost going into the week. For sure, seven seconds is not going to be the difference this week between winning and losing with some of the climbs coming up, which are quite beautiful, but also quite hard. But it’s a great way to start the week,” said Piccoli. He will wear the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Overall Leader’s jersey on Tuesday.

“I’d like to personally thank everyone from Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment for putting their faith in us two years ago. What they don’t know is that they saved my cycling career,” added Piccoli, who finished 10th overall at the 2017 Tour of Utah. “I was probably going to stop cycling and then the team, Elevate-KHS, got an invite here (in Utah), and they signed me for this race specifically. If Elevate-KHS wasn’t invited to this race, I probably wouldn’t be a cyclist right now.”

American Lawson Craddock of EF Education First finished six seconds back in second place. Romanian time trial champion Serghei Tvetcov of Worthy Pro Cycling, who was third overall in 2017, finished in third, half a second behind Tvetcov.

On a picture-perfect day with a backdrop of Mount Superior in the Wasatch Mountains, Piccoli bested 112 other riders on the opening day of racing for the weeklong stage race. Pacing was key on the out-and-back course, half of it on the steep pitches in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Starting at one-minute intervals, the riders went vertical from the start before flying down the fast 1.5-mile descent to the finish line, hitting speeds of 50 miles per hour.

“It was a really tough prologue. I came to see it with our team Elevate-KHS a couple of days ago and since then I’ve ridden it a couple of times, trying to refine my pacing strategy,” Piccoli explained. “It was quite complicated with the altitude here at Snowbird and the corners, and the tricky up and down pacing strategy so I rode it a couple of times, a couple of times hard, and every time I got closer to what I wanted to do and today it ended up working out.”

A total of 25 riders are now separated by 30 seconds at the top of the standings, making for an exciting opening to the 15th edition of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

Joe Dombrowski (USA) of EF Education First, the overall winner of the 2015 Tour of Utah, is 15 seconds back in seventh place. The 2017 Tour of Utah champion, Canadian Rob Britton of Rally Cycling, is in 14th place, 18 seconds down. Australian Lachlan Morton of EF Education First, the 2016 winner, sits in 16thplace, 21 seconds back.

Finishing fourth, Portugal under-23 national champion João Almeida of Hagens Berman Axeon claimed the WCF Insurance Best Young Rider jersey, and the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Most Aggressive Rider jersey. 303 Project’s Antonio Baca of Mexico was voted the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite, in the category of International Rider. Tvetcov claimed the Utah Sports Commission Sprint jersey and Craddock was awarded the Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain jersey.

True to its nickname as “America’s Toughest Stage Race,” the 2019 Tour of Utah will provide 37,882 feet of elevation gain over 477 miles of racing on Aug. 12-18. Racing continues Tuesday with Stage 1 presented by Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, taking place in North Logan City. Stage 1 features a completely new 86.9-mile (139.9-km) course that traverses the western slopes of the Bear River Mountains for 4,310 feet of elevation gain. The peloton will make two circuits around Little Mountain, passing less than 10 miles south of the Idaho state line before returning to North Logan City for five fast and furious finishing laps.

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique sports in the world today. The Tour of Utah is a internationally sanctioned as a 2.HC-rated stage race on the UCI America Tour, and is part of USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour. More information about the Tour of Utah can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (tourofutah), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (tourofutah).

Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Prologue presented by Zions Bank Result:
1. James Piccoli (Can) Elevate-KHS at 8:38
2. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First at 0:05
3. Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Floyd’s Pro Cycling at 0:06
4. João Almeida (Por) Hagens Berman Axeon
5. Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally UHC at 0:11
6. Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally UHC at 0:14
7. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First
8. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:15
9. Keegan Swirbul (USA) Floyd’s Pro Cycling at 0:16
10. Travis Mccabe (USA) Floyd’s Pro Cycling at 0:17.

Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Overall After the Prologue presented by Zions Bank:
1. James Piccoli (Can) Elevate-KHS in 8:37
2. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First at 0:06
3. Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Floyd’s Pro Cycling
4. João Almeida (Por) Hagens Berman Axeon
5. Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally UHC at 0:12
6. Gavin Mannion (USA) Rally UHC at 0:15
7. Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First
8. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy at 0:16
9. Keegan Swirbul (USA) Floyd’s Pro Cycling at 0:17
10. Travis Mccabe (USA) Floyd’s Pro Cycling.

James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS)

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