This afternoon’s Heiden Davidson Orthopedic Criterium followed a one-mile loop, climbing Park City’s historic Main Street before plummeting down Swede Alley at speeds exceeding 40 miles per hour.
Thousands of screaming spectators lined the course as the race began. With less than one lap underway, Alex Dowsett of Trek-LIVESTRONG started to attack off of the front of the group. It wasn’t long before he was caught and then a barrage of other attacking riders went up the course.
With every acceleration, riders were dropping off the back of the peloton. Taylor Phinney of Trek-LIVESTRONG made an aggressive attack taking the first intermediate sprint.
With more than 30 minutes to go Jeff Louder of BMC Racing Team launched his solo attack in the second to last stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, presented by Zions Bank. Louder held onto his lead and won in front of his home crowd.
The day belonged to Louder as he made a super human effort riding solo for close to half of the race. “The course was obviously very challenging. I have to thank the fans for today, it was insane,” said Louder, “That is for sure, the biggest crowd I have won in front of. Without them I don’t know how I would have done it. The cheering softened the hill a little bit.”
After Louder had crossed the line with his arms held high, Jai Crawford of Fly V Australia took a distant second place, with 2009 Tour of Utah Champion Francisco Mancebo of Canyon Bicycles a close third.
Louder was a long time friend of the late Terry McGinnis, the previous executive director of the Tour of Utah. “I really had my thoughts all day on Terry,” said Louder. “He was one of my best friends. He trained with me for years. Once I was out there and I felt like I had a chance I felt like I had him with me and it meant a lot to think of Terry today.”
Additional photos posted on Flickr.