The contenders duked it out in the final climb of the Queen stage at the Tour of Utah. Before the stage, 13 riders were separated by 38 seconds in the general classification but after slogging it over 14,778 feet (4,504 m) of climbing over a 98-mile (159 km) road race, the race now comes down to 2 pretenders to the title.

Utah native Jeff Louder (BMC) was triumphant in front of a home crowd and crossed the line first, pointing in pride at his jersey. Yellow jersey Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle) crossed the line in second place, 13 seconds back. With time bonuses on the line, Caldwell now has a 7-second buffer over Louder going into the final stage, a relatively flat 12-mile (19.3 km) out and back time trial that starts and finishes at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele.



Jeff Louder (BMC) points to his BMC jersey when crossing the line in front of an enthusiastic crowd

A break of 7 riders went off in the first 10 miles of the race, and got almost a five minute advantage before being caught on the HC climb up Alpine Loop at around the 55-mile marker. One participant in the break was green jersey Brad White (Successful Living), on his third break of the race, who nailed down the Sprint jersey as no one contended the sprints.

The lone survivor of the break, Mike Creed (Rock Racing) grabbed the KOM points before re-integrating the chasing dwindling field.

By the time the lead group made it to the bottom of the final climb to Snowbird, the numbers were down to about 25 riders with all the contenders present and ready for action. Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) was the first one to launch a move which caused ripples in the group. Garmin-Chipotle duo including Caldwell started to chase him down which caused the BMC duo of Louder and Darren Lill to react and chase the argyle pair. Meanwhile, KOM Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1) flew away, passed Sevilla and got a 20 seconds gap to the chasers, but Caldwell went after him and passed the Kiwi.



Behind them, Chris Baldwin (Toyota-United) and Burke Swindlehurst (Bissell) hit everyone else with accelerations to break tempo and morale. Louder using his knowledge of the mountain, his training group, kept his own tempo, and moved up the mountain, catching Chadwick, then Caldwell, passing Caldwell and crossing the finish line first.



A tired Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle) after crossig the line in second place



Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1) was third and takes the overall KOM

 

Jeff Louder (BMC), stage winner

 

About the final climb. I just found my own tempo after Tanners Flat, just kept turning it up, turning it up, I've ridden this enough times this year specially to realize what the landmarks are and where I can get the best performance out of myself, I just did that, I ramped it up, ramped it up and once I got to the first entry here at Snowbird, I know that I had a chance, I've timed that, it's 500 meters and I knew that I could do 500 meters all out and I did.

About his team. The team rode amazing all week, it's to me tomorrow, it's up to each person because it's a time trial but up to this point, I'm just really proud of my team, proud of BMC. I'd like to thank Gavin Chilcott because he is kind of the mastermind for our training camp here, training specifically for this race. Obviously, it's paid off, it's just amazing, it's a great feeling, I'm really, really proud to win for the team because those guys at every race we do, they get better and it's motivated me. They get better and I feel that they're making me better, that makes me proud to be able to win for them.

Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle), second on stage, yellow jersey


About the stage (which he won two years ago). Two years ago, I was lucky to be part of kind of an underdog team, not really one of the marked riders so I was able to get into a breakaway, I had 4 teammates with me. This year, I had the legs, I've been feeling good, I had confidence I could stay with them and put in a move there at the end, I was just trying to mark Sevilla. I made the jump to get up to Chadwick, I still felt good so kept it going but the climb is unrelenting, the last 5k seemed like forever, it was just a little too long, by the time that Louder caught me I was already on my limit, he had more in the tank there in the last kilometer.

Glen Chadwick (Team Type 1), third on stage, overall KOM


About his attack early on the final climb. Gave me a headstart on all the other guys, Burke and Baldwin, Blake came across first, and I got on him for a little while but he put on a little surge and I just kept on riding my own tempo, Jeff came across and did the same thing. I wasn't sure what the finish was, I thought it was like last time when you dip down in the carpark but when I saw 200 to go, I realized we were still going up hill. But it was a good day, the guys rode really well, there are four of us in the top twenty.

About going for the KOM points on top of Alpine Loop. We caught everyone but Mike Creed on the top of the KOM and I just went for the points there, once I got them, I sort of secure and didn't have to worry about racing for the jersey anymore. the jersey is kind of a bonus really, it wasn't a goal.

Brad White (Successful Living), winner of overall Sprint competition


About the stage. I like to ride aggressive and this stage race really favors that a lot. the sprint competition was really close going into today there was only 2 points separating us, so the strategy was to keep that and so what ended up happening, I saw the guy with two points behind me struggling a little bit, I decided to go into the break, that worked out really well because everyone just gave me the points,. And then, when you're up the road, you don't have to follow the accelerations up the climb so it was good.

About the break. Creed was doing a lot of work, he was looking really strong, he really wanted to ride away but not everyone wanted to work. Obviously the Garmin guy had no reason to work but the BMC guy, I didn't quite understand why he didn't want to work. Just kind of disorganized and Creed was pulling through super hard and that was breaking up things a little bit. He decided to go on the climb and he looked good. We got caught on the top of the climb which was fine by me, that was what I was hoping for. When Creed went, everything got kind of disorganized, there were attacks, then I decided to set a good comfortable tempo for myself, that was fast but not going to kill me. The descent I heard was scary so I just took it pretty easy going that and it was, it was kind of scary descent. One of the most beautiful courses I've ever seen, unbelievable.