Powder Mountain • Belgian Ben Hermans of Israel Cycling Academy powered away from an elite group of riders to win Stage 2 of Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Wednesday.
Hermans, who finished second overall in 2018, soloed to victory on the final epic climb to Powder Mountain Resort in a time of 3 hours and 37 minutes, taking the overall lead.
“I knew I had to be in really good shape on this climb. You can make a lot of time, you can lose a lot of time, on this climb. I hoped for the best legs. I had really good feeling on the climb, so I’m happy I was able to take the win,” said Hermans, who finished second on the Powder Mountain stage in 2014.
Hermans dropped James Piccoli of Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling four kilometers from the 8,900-foot summit after the pair had caught Peter Stetina of Trek-Segafredo. Piccoli, winner of the Prologue on Monday, crossed the line 20 seconds behind Hermans. Trek-Segafredo’s Niklas Eg finished third on the stage, 35 seconds down.
The third day of racing at the Tour of Utah included 7,316 feet of climbing and shook up the overall standings. Hermans surged from 10th place to first place with a 26-second lead on Piccoli. Eg moved to third place, 52 seconds down, with his teammate Stetina in fourth place.
Joe Dombrowski, who finished fifth on the stage, is now in fifth place overall. Rally Cycling’s Kyle Murphy dropped two spots to sixth place, while his teammate Rob Britton moved up four spots to eighth place.
João Almeida is now seventh overall and remains in the Best Young Rider jersey.
Stage 3 on Thursday begins at Antelope Island State Park. Most of the 5,895 feet of climbing on this 85.9-mile stage will occur when the route skirts the Wasatch Mountains south of Layton, with three Category 3 climbs in the final 29 miles. Following a punchy KOM up the Bountiful Bench, the route follows a new southbound stretch of Bountiful Boulevard for finishing circuits in first-time host city North Salt Lake.