Aug 11, 2014

Photo credit: VeloNews
Optum pro Carter Jones notched three top 10 performances that culminated with a 6th place on the final stage and 7th on GC at the 2014 Tour of Utah.  The Tour of Utah has come to be known as America’s Toughest Stage Race and this year it lived up to its billing.  With most of the race being done above 6500 ft and including climbs with extensive grades between 10 and 20% topping out at 9000 ft, it’s a race for the toughest of stage racers.  Jones was the Optum team’s GC hope and he didn’t disappoint with an 8th place finish on the first critical stage (stage 4) that finished on the brutal Powder Mountain climb.  On stage 6 to Snowbird ski resort, a break including former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, got away and although Carter was 5th out of the main contenders, Evans jumped over him on GC.  On the final stage, that climbed Empire Pass and finished in Park City, Jones and Evans battled up the climb in an effort to reel in the leading four riders, including overall winner Tom Danielson and second, Chris Horner.  They didn’t make contact before the final descent.  Evans put on a descending clinic to get the win and Jones finished 6th, just 10 seconds back and 5 seconds behind Danielson.  In the end, Jones finished 7th overall, the top placed non World Tour rider.  Next up is the USA Pro Challenge, which presents another opportunity for Carter to demonstrate his climbing prowess.

Photo credit: VeloNews

PCG Coach: Stephen McGregor


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