Rory Sutherland Wins Stage 1 of 2012 Larry H Miller Tour of Utah

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08/8/2012| 0 comments
by Mark Watson
Rory Sutherland powers to victory in stage 1 of the 2012 Tour of Utah. Photo copyright Jonathan Devich @epicimages.us
Rory Sutherland powers to victory in stage 1 of the 2012 Tour of Utah. Photo copyright Jonathan Devich @epicimages.us

Rory Sutherland Wins Stage 1 of 2012 Larry H Miller Tour of Utah

After nearly five and one-half hours of racing amidst scorching temperatures and over four rugged mountain climbs covering a total of 211.9 kilometer (131.7 miles), versatile Australian Rory Sutherland separated himself from a small group of riders coming off the final climb at the North Ogden pass.

After nearly five and one-half hours of racing amidst scorching temperatures and over four rugged mountain climbs covering a total of 211.9 kilometer (131.7 miles), versatile Australian Rory Sutherland separated himself from a small group of riders coming off the final climb at the North Ogden pass.

Coming into downtown Ogden, Sutherland launched a full sprint effort inside the final 200 meters to triumphantly cross the finish line just ahead of Liquigas-Cannondale's Damiano Caruso (ITA) and BMC Racing Team's Brent Bookwalter (USA), who finished second and third respectively.

For Sutherland and his UnitedHealthcare teammates, the stage 1 victory in front of several team sponsors and an enthusiastic crowd of thousands was the result of a complete team effort that saw all eight UnitedHealthcare riders contribute to earning the first stage win of the 2012 edition of what race organizers claim is America's toughest stage race.

Sutherland, overall winner of the 2012 Tour de Beauce and 26th Annual SRAM Tour of the Gila, spoke about the stage, his performance and the effort of his teammates this afternoon. The first man to don this year's Tour of Utah's yellow-jersey said, "Today was a super hard, super hot start to the Tour of Utah. This was a long stage, 211 kilometer with a lot of serious climbs on a ‘flat day,' so to speak. We have done it a lot this year and just continue to come together really well as a group. We look after each other."

"We came into the last climb all grouped up and once I hit that one I knew I was feeling good and I could go with it, I just had to make it over with the top 10-20 guys and just wait. Coming in toward the finish, there were so many attacks coming in and then (Dave) Zabriske's (Garmin-Sharp) gone away by himself and we had Ben and Philip (Deignan) in there. I told them you have to close down every single gap you see because I need to get to the last corner grouped up with the other guys. They were tremendous and did a great job so you feel it on your shoulders that it's your responsibility to finish your job."

"I've done this enough and luckily enough crits that I know where I need to be in a group like that coming through the last corner. It's been nearly six years trying to win a race of this size in the U.S., the Utah's, Colorado's, California's, the Missouri's and Georgia's. I've been on the podium I think in every single one for a stage and now I've finally got one," Sutherland concluded.

UnitedHealthcare team director Mike Tamayo was very happy with the performance of his team in today's stage of the Tour of Utah "The boys executed our plan perfectly today. Coming into the final climb, the gap was still at four minutes so we actually sent Hilton to the front to help out a bit and make sure that gap came down. It quickly came down from four minutes to two minutes before

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