Champion System's Clarke Figures In Utah Breakaway
Champion System Pro Cycling Team’s Will Clarke was part of a five-man breakaway for more than 150 kilometers Tuesday while Chris Butler made the select 40-man finishing group on the opening stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.
While temperatures soared over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, a four-man break escaped just 11 kilometers into the 210.5 km stage. Clarke bridged to it following the first climb and went on to take the first two intermediate sprint points as the escapees built a more than 12-minute lead. But the Australian later required a bike change and struggled over the third climb, missing out on valuable sprint points which would have put him into the XO Communications Sprint Jersey.
“After having chased back twice, it looked as if his day was over,” Assistant Director Burke Swindlehurst said. But Clarke did forge on and finished the stage within the time limit.
After the original breakaway group was swept up on the final climb, Butler followed the attacks that whittled the peloton from more than 120 riders to fewer than four dozen. The American finished in the same time as stage winner Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) who secured the leader’s jersey in a sprint finish. Champion System's Cameron Wurf rolled in 1:11 later, in 51st place, while Craig Lewis was in a group that finished 4:35 behind the winner.
Wednesday’s 21.75 km team time trial around the Miller Motorsports Park race track features three laps around a course containing 11 corners. Swindlehurst said it appears to favor a team with coordination and strength.
“I am very much looking forward to see how our Champion System boys do against clock,” he said.