Some said the climb of North Ogden Pass would be hard, but might not prove difficult enough to force a selection. Some predicted a sprint finish in Ogden. Well it did come down to a sprint, but only five riders arrived together to fight for the stage victory.
After attacking solo, Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefits/OptumHealth) took a hard-earned win by winning the sprint from the group of five, who caught him during the final lap. Oscar Sevilla finished second ahead of Sergio Henao (Gobernacion Indeportes Antioquia), who successfully defended his race lead on the hot roads around Ogden.
Yes it was hot on North Ogden Divide
The early break on it's first ascent of North Ogden Divide
The peloton passes through Ogden to start lap two
The day started with a break away containing Bradley White (United Healthcare), Rubens Bertogliatti (Team Type 1/Sanofi Aventis), Roman Van Udan (Pure Black) and Jay Thomson (Bissell) attacked from the gun. The first circuit of the 61 km course saw the pack watch the four breakies cruise to nearly a 10 minute lead.
On the second lap, the fireworks commenced as eleven riders attempted to bridge to the escapes. The attempt came up short, and the original four remained up the road until the opening kilometers of the third lap.
In the meantime, Jesse Anthony launched on of those moves that when they succeed are termed brilliant, and when they fail, suicide. Anthony attacked from the main field, and dangled interminably in no-man's land. He remained suspended for much of the second lap of the circuit.
Jesse Anthony dangles in no-man's land on the start of circuit 3
Early in the third lap, the break fell apart. The chase heated up in the main field, and they soon reabsorbed Bertogliatti, White, and Van Udan.
Thomson refused to concede, and continued solo, while Anthony chased hard behind him. On the lower slopes of the North Ogden Divide, Anthony caught the fatigued Thomson, and quickly rode over the top of him.
From the main field charged Levi Leipheimer and Jani Brajkovich (RadioShack) and Oscar Sevilla and race leader Sergio Henao (Gobernacion Indeportes Antioquia). By the third passage over the KOM, the race had shattered.
Leipheimer, Brajkovic, Sevilla, and Hanao caught Anthony. Anthony held on, and the group of five stayed clear to the finish, where Anthony won the sprint for the stage victory. They held a gap of 2'35" over the next finishers.
Henao successfully defended his leaders jersey, while Sevilla and Leipheimer completed the podium.
As a reward for his gusty move, Anthony jumped from 30th to 4th overall and took over the lead in the points competition. Bertogliatti now wears the climbers jersey after his long day out in the break. Tejay van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), meanwhile, retains his lead in the Best Young Riders' classification, and Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home) is the best Utah rider.
The Full Race Gallery is here.
All photos copyright Christopher See used with permission.