Of course there was a lot that happened in between, but right now at the end of day two it’s exciting to report we have Paco Mancebo just 2 seconds off the lead of this bike race. Today was the first major GC shake up stage with a mountain top finish, and looking back it went pretty well for the Hangar 15 crew.Today’s stage was around 60km shorter than yesterday but far more lumpy in the berg department. Straight from the gun it was a 10km climb up Sardine Canyon after leaving the town of Brigham City. It was kind of a false start however, with a crash happening in the 6km neutral zone and we stopped for around 5 minutes while those who needed to sorted themselves out.
Once the race began I was not in a good place trying to follow moves and survive this first highway grade climb. It was game on from the bottom, with the classic feeding frenzy of teams trying to make the break. I think my body was still asleep, or the breakfast digestion train hadn’t fully left the station yet, but it was indeed a rude start to the day. Nonetheless, after a ripping descent, maxing out at 95kph it was altogether at the bottom. Luckily for me, my legs were woke up and were ready to go and I had a super fast and rowdy time trying to follow moves as we headed back around towards Brigham City for the second time. In the end just three guys slipped away and it was time for a breather and snack break in the peloton.
The real sticking point of today’s stage was not the final climb up to Snowbasin, but the 5km at an average of 10% grade North Ogden Divide beast. This was for sure going to be a pivotal point in the GC battle and we were hoping our three main guys for overall contention (Chad, Paco and Rob) could make the selection. It was a brute. The peloton did indeed split and perhaps 25-30 guys made it over the top and finished off the catching the breakaway in the process. Paco was the lone survivor for us and ended up just off the podium in 4th on the stage. Rob followed soon after and the rest of us moseyed on in well cooked in the 30 degree heat.
Before I wrap up this post, I will give a couple of special thank you mentions. First, to our tireless team of staff and directors that have been unreal in looking after us so far this week. There are so many moving parts to a bike team, but they have been phenomenal in keeping us fed, watered and rolling smooth. Second mention is for the super cool wooden duck caller the riders received during sign on this morning! What a rad gift!