Dombrowski wins stage as Hermans clinches overall Victory
Ben Hermans finished near the front in the final mountain stage of the Tour of Utah on Sunday, to secure the overall title after finishing second overall a year ago
Joe Dombrowski won the finale, an 83-mile trek that began and ended in Park City, with 24 seconds to spare over a chase group led by Joao Almeida. Hermans and Keegan Swirbul were another two seconds back with James Piccoli, one of the main instigators all week, rounding out the top five.
The finish was enough to give Hermans, riding for the Israel Cycling Academy, a 50-second margin over Piccoli, with Dombrowski another 42 seconds back in third place.
The 33-year-old Hermans has experienced something of a rejuvenation this season. He won a stage and the overall at the Tour of Austria before taking the second and third stages in Utah.
"It's really amazing," the Belgian said. "I've been fourth, second last year, and to win -- finally first. I really enjoy it here. It's amazing to ride for these crowds and to be there on the podium in the yellow jersey is really, really nice."
Travis McCabe won the white jersey awarded to the race's top sprinter. Piccoli was crowned most aggressive rider, Almeida was top young rider and Hayden McCormick won the mountains classification.
“From the first time that I did this race in 2014, I had a good feeling with this race and I kept getting better results in the GC,” Hermans said.
VIDEO: 2019 Tour of Utah Stage 6 Highlights
Dombrowksi had his eye on stage six from the outset. A former Tour of Utah overall winner, Dombrowski knew the stage’s decisive climb, Empire Pass, better than most in the bunch. Having arrived in Park City a week before the race start, he spent ample time training on the eight-kilometer climb.
“I wanted to try to win the stage today,” said Dombrowski. “I know Empire. The bottom of the climb is steep and consistent, and the latter part is rolling. I wanted to make the selection at the bottom, but I wasn’t able to go alone. Rather than pulling on the flats, I went easier and allowed some guys to come back, and then planned to hit them hard a couple of kilometers from the top.”
It was a plan perfectly executed. Dombrowski accelerated two kilometers from the top of Empire Pass and opened up a a 25-second lead before the summit.
“If you have a gap on the decent, normally you can keep it to the line,” said Dombrowski. Ever understated, he added: “It worked out.”
Dombrowski is no stranger to the Tour of Utah podium. He won the final stage of Tour of Utah, and with it the general classification, in 2015.
“Any victory is always nice,” said Dombrowski. “It was a great way to camp off a great week from everyone on the team.”
2019 Tour of Utah Stage 6 Top 10
1 Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First 3:11:09
2 João Almeida (Por) Hagens Berman Axeon 0:00:24
3 Keegan Swirbul (USA) Worthy Pro Cycling 0:00:26
4 Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy
5 James Piccoli (Can) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling 0:00:30
6 Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First 0:01:24
7 Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Israel Cycling Academy 0:01:39
8 Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally UHC Cycling 0:01:58
9 Rob Britton (Can) Rally UHC Cycling 0:02:06
10 Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Education First 0:02:11
2019 Tour of Utah Final Overall General Classification
1 Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy 18:46:09
2 James Piccoli (Can) Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling 0:00:50
3 Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First 0:01:32
4 João Almeida (Por) Hagens Berman Axeon 0:02:26
5 Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:57
6 Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally UHC Cycling 0:03:20
7 Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First 0:04:08
8 Keegan Swirbul (USA) Worthy Pro Cycling 0:04:40
9 Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:22
10 Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Israel Cycling Academy 0:05:28