Sam Bewley has returned to racing at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah after a near 2-month break from racing. Renowned for being the USA’s toughest stage race, Bewley for Mitchelton-Scott, Hamish Schreurs of Israel Cycling Academy and Connor Brown of Mobius BridgeLane were the Kiwis to take to the start of the prologue time trial; won by Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing.
Although the short 5.31km prologue time trial was pretty straightforward in terms of distance, the hills made for an interesting race. Riders in the opening stage of this year’s tour would be racing on road bikes instead of time trial rigs; and it was Tom Bohli of BMC Racing who set the early best time of the race with 6.33mins; setting the benchmark early on and establishing BMC Racing’s position at the top of the leaderboard. It was a position they would never relinquish.
Connor Brown of Mobius BridgeLane adopted a bit of a track stance on the bike to try and stay as aerodynamic as possible through the course; although he was also quite aggressive on the bike, repeatedly getting out of the saddle to put more power down on the pedals. He eventually crossed the line in a time of 7.06mins; an average speed of 44.873kph which would be good enough to slot into 99th position.
Hamish Schreurs went through 2 seconds quicker than Brown, finishing 93rd on the stage. The former U23 national champion arrived at the race after supporting teammate Ben Hermans to the overall victory at the Tour of Austria, the same race where Aaron Gate took the king of the mountains classification.
Sam Bewley got underway in fairly relaxed fashion through the opening technical section before opening up on the course and putting the fastest time down on the course of the three Kiwis. Bewley slotted in just behind teammate Cameron Meyer; 24 seconds slower than the eventual fastest time. Bewley’s time of 6.51mins was good enough for 48th position on the stage.
After Tom Bohli’s early best time on the stage the only rider to get within 5 seconds of his time was LottoNL-Jumbo’s Neilson Powless. It was a long stay out in the lead for Bohli, but eventually Bohli was overhauled by teammate and national time trial champion Joey Rosskopf. But Rosskopf’s time in the hot seat was relatively short-lived as Tejay van Garderen – coming from the Tour de France – went 4 seconds better to stop the clock in 6.27mins and take the opening leader’s jersey of this year’s race.