Jelly Belly’s Morton Conquers Empire Pass for Overall Title at Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
Costa, Talansky Finish on Podium after Weeklong, 705-Mile Stage Race
PARK CITY, Utah (Aug. 7, 2016) - Australian Lachlan Morton of Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS Cycling Team attacked on the Hors Categorie climb of Empire Pass to win Stage 7 presented by Utah Sports Commission and clinched the overall general classification victory at the seven-day 2016 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. An inspired Morton, who lost the yellow Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Race Leader jersey on Stage 6, accelerated away from G.C. leader Andrew Talansky (USA) of Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling for the win in Historic Park City. Morton covered the 78-mile course in three hours and eight minutes. For the overall title, Morton finished with a final time of 27 hours and 12 minutes for the week.
Adrien Costa (USA) of Axeon Hagens Berman crossed the finish line 31 seconds behind Morton and moved from third to second overall on G.C., one minute and nine seconds back. Talansky, who was paced on the final climb by his teammate Joe Dombrowski (USA), dropped to third overall in the G.C. Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (COL) of BMC Racing Team finished third on the stage, 50 seconds back, and was fourth on G.C. Dombrowski, the defending Tour of Utah champion, finished eighth overall.
“I have had a few pretty tough years since the last time I raced here,” said Morton. “To get to this top step is very special. There were a lot of things going through my head.”
Morton entered the final day of the seven-day UCI 2.HC-rated stage race with a 22-second deficit behind Talansky for the race lead. He captured the leader’s jersey on Stage 3 presented by America First Credit Union, a stage he also won in 2013 with a climb over Mount Nebo. He lost the G.C. lead two days later on the “Queen Stage.” “Having the defending champion of this race to work for me was pretty special. The way Joe (Dombrowski) was riding, he could have easily ridden up to Lachlan. He could have had a chance for a stage win. He sacrificed all of that to stay with me, to help stay on the podium.” stated Talansky, who is headed to race at Vuelta a España. “The climbs in this race (Tour of Utah), the caliber of the field, the altitude, everything, it really lived up to its reputation. It was a tough week.”
The start of Stage 7 presented by Utah Sports Commission showcased dynamic racing from the start in Park City. The 104-rider peloton was still together for the first of two Utah Sports Commission Sprint lines in Kamas. A break of 10 riders, who escaped after 25 miles of non-stop attacking, had a lead of three minutes at the bottom of Wolf Creek Ranch, one of two Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain climbs. Dramatic attacks from BMC Racing Team shattered the peloton on the climb, which led to the thrilling showdown on the Hors Category (HC) climb of Empire Pass, one of the hardest climbs in the world.
Sixth on the stage and fifth on G.C. was Canadian Rob Britton of Rally Cycling. He was awarded the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Most Aggressive Rider jersey. The BMC Racing Team had four riders finish 11th or better on G.C. and was recognized as the best team after the seven days of racing. One of those riders was Taylor “T.J.” Eisenhart, who was voted the America First Credit Union Fan Favorite in the Overall Fan Favorite category. American Kiel Reijnen of Trek-Segafredo kept the Utah Sports Commission Sprint jersey. Costa not only retained the Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain jersey after Stage 7, but was also the Subaru Best Young Rider for the week.
“This was pretty incredible. I have never done a race with this HC status before. Being on the podium is pretty incredible,” said 18-year-old Costa, who successfully defended the Subaru Best Young Rider jersey for four stages. “The climbs were hard, but at least you got the spectacular Utah scenery to enjoy.” For the Utah riders in the race, Eisenhart remained seventh overall on G.C. and Robbie Squire of Holowesko | Citadel Racing Team presented by Hincapie Sportswear finished ninth. Tanner Putt of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team was 71sth on G.C.
The 2016 Larry H. Miller, which featured 705 miles of racing and 52,825 vertical feet of climbing, started outside Zion National Park, the southernmost point in Utah of the event’s 12-year history on Aug. 1. Over seven days, the race moved from south to north and finished in front of huge crowds lining Historic Main Street in Park City.
Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Award Jerseys
- Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Overall Leader jersey – Lachlan Morton (AUS), Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS Cycling Team
- Utah Sports Commission Sprint jersey - Kiel Reijnen (USA), Trek-Segafredo
- Utah Office of Tourism King of the Mountain jersey - Adrien Costa (USA), Axeon Hagens Berman
- Subaru Best Young Rider jersey – Adrien Costa (USA), Axeon Hagens Berman
- Larry H. Miller Dealerships Most Aggressive Rider jersey – Rob Britton (CAN), Rally Cycling
- America First Credit Union Fan Favorite jersey – Taylor Eisenhart (USA), BMC Racing Team
About the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah
The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, referred to as "America's Toughest Stage RaceTM," is a week-long, professional cycling stage race for the best men’s teams in the world. The 2016 event will be held Aug. 1-7. Now in its 12th year, the event was elevated in 2015 as a 2.HC-rated UCI stage race, making it one of the premier events in North America. The 2016 Tour of Utah will cover 705 miles of racing and 52,825 feet of climbing. The 2015 Tour of Utah men’s champion was Joe Dombrowski (USA) of Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team. The Tour of Utah is owned by Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment. More information about the Tour of Utah, host venues and professional teams can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com, as well as social channels Facebook (tourofutah), Twitter (tourofutah), Instagram (thetourofutah) and YouTube (tourofutah).