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2012 Tour of Utah stage by stage in a word, with Joe Dombrowski

August 14, 2012

Bontrager-Livestrong on TTT course at Miller Motorsports Park, Tour of Utah

After each stage of the 2012 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Joe Dombrowski on the Bontrager-Livestrong Cycling Team shared a word to describe his day. All six in total are collected below and paired with a ProVéloPassion summary of each stage.

Stage 1: “Boring.”

132 miles of racing that started in Ogden, Stage 1 reached southwest to Henefer before returning to Ogden for the finish. A break gained as much as twelve minutes on the field which rode as a solid pack, five guys wide, over the first KOM. The racing didn’t begin until the last climb when a select group of about 25 pulled away. In that group after 5 hours and 25 minutes on the bike were Joe Dombrowski, Ian Boswell, Lawson Craddock, and Josh Atkins for Bontrager-Livestrong.

Stage 2: “Fun.”

Dombrowski rode his first team time trial competition with Bontrager-Livestrong on Stage 2 at Miller Motorsports Park over three laps of 4.5 miles each. Taking the eleven turns of each lap at 35 mph, the day’s 23 minutes and 43 seconds of adrenaline and pure speed provided the perfect antidote for yesterday’s stage. Bontrager-Livestrong finished ninth among the 17 teams, one of only two teams that completed the TTT with their entire squad.

Teammate Connor O’Leary held onto the Best Utah Rider jersey he had earned in Stage 1.

Connor O’Leary wore the Miller Lite Best Utah Rider jersey for two days

James Oram on Little Mountain, Tour of Utah Stage 3

Stage 3: “Hot.”

The 86 mile Stage 3 challenged the riders almost immediately with an ascent up North Ogden Divide’s 10% grade that shattered the peloton. Dombrowski found position among those in the front up that climb. “It was so hot up the first climb,” Dombrowski said, “I drank two bottles in the first 40 minutes.”

The team left the finish line in Salt Lake City with Josh Atkins 24th, Boswell 25th, and Dombrowski 26th on GC.

Ian Boswell before Stage 4, Tour of Utah

Stage 4: “Relaxed.”

Many riders felt fatigued from the previous days’ heat and climbing as the fourth day of racing got underway from Lehi. The longest day at 134 miles was also the flattest day and a trek into a dusty no-man’s land that returned along part of the historic Pony Express route to finish in downtown Salt Lake City. Bontrager-Livestrong’s Jasper Stuyven rode in the break-away until the sprinters’ teams caught the break just 800 meters from the finish line.

Stuyven ended the day with the Most Aggressive Rider jersey. True to plan Dombrowski and Boswell remained in the pack, trying to stay out of the wind.

Jasper Stuyven (center) won the Most Aggressive Rider jersey for Stage 4, Tour of Utah

Stage 5: “Follow.”

Boswell and Dombrowski turned onto the Snowbird climb in the leader’s group. Boswell, who raced in honor of a friend, launched an attack. Dombrowski, Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma—Quick-Step), and Leopold Koenig (NetApp) reached Boswell before the finish.

At the end of the stage Dombrowski described what happened after Koenig attacked: “Levi wanted us to pull because he wanted to win the stage and he knows we’re in for GC, but there’s still a race to go so I thought it would be good to be a bit more conservative, and eventually a couple of attacks went and I followed.”

Gavin Mannion and Ian Bowell after Stage 5, Tour of Utah

Boswell and Dombrowski finished third and fourth on the day. They grabbed water bottles from their soigneur before Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), and Chris Horner (Radioshack-Nissan-Trek) crossed the finish line.

Dombrowski’s efforts awarded him the Best Young Rider jersey and a place at the table in the press conference.

Josh Atkins and Joe Dombrowski relaxing in Kimball Junction before Stage 5, Tour of Utah

Stage 6: “Done.”

The final day with 77 miles of racing included a climb commentator Frankie Andreu compared to the feared Angliru that features in the Vuelta a Espana. Burke Swindlehurst called Empire Pass a.k.a. Guardsman Pass the most difficult climb in all of America. Dombrowski and Boswell crested it and crossed the Park City finish line with a small yellow jersey group just behind the sole man in front, Leipheimer.

Dombrowki enjoyed another kiss from the podium girls in the Best Young Rider’s jersey (“This is the best part,” he said during the podium kiss the day before). He left for Durango, Colorado via Trek World with a fourth place on GC. Boswell headed to France for the Tour de l’Avenir, right behind his teammate on GC with fifth. Atkins, Craddock, O’Leary, Oram, and Mannion moved on to Durango to be joined by Ryan Eastman and Charlie Avis for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Joe Dombrowski (center) and Ian Boswell (right), Stage 6 Tour of Utah finish

2012 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah stage winners and race leaders by stage

Winner on Stage 1: Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare)

Race leader: Rory Sutherland

Winner on Stage 2 (TTT): Garmin-Sharp

Race leader: Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp)

Winner on Stage 3: Michael Matthews (Rabobank)

Race leader: Christian Vande Velde

Winner on Stage 4: Jake Keough (UnitedHealthcare)

Race leader: Christian Vande Velde

Winner on Stage 5: Johann Tschopp (BMC Racing Team)

Race leader: Johann Tschopp

Winner on Stage 6: Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma—Quick-Step)

Overall Race leader: Johann Tschopp

Joe Dombrowski, Best Young Rider, at press conference after Stage 5, Tour of Utah

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