Kiel Reijnen (Trek Segafredo) had been close to a stage win at the Tour of Utah with a second and a fourth already to his name in this edition of the race. He finally managed to overcome the rest of the quick finishers with a powerful sprint on stage 5 to take the win.
The American timed his run to the line impeccably, only exposing himself off the front in the final 100 metres before withstanding a late challenge from Tao Geoghegan Hart (Axeon Hagens Berman), who finished second and Alex Howes (Cannondale Drapac) further back in third.
Australian Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) managed to retain the race lead after a tough day in the saddle. Saturday’s (US time) queen stage will be the likely spot where the final general classification is decided.
As it happened
The early eleven-man break established a lead over the peloton getting out to a comfortable advantage before the peleton began working to bring them back.
In the group with Owen were Chris Jones, Daniel Eaton (both UnitedHealthcare) Frederic Brun (Fortuneo-Vital Concept), Brayan Sanchez (Team Jamis), Logan Owen (Axeon Hagens Berman), Tom Bohli (BC Racing), Simon Pellaud (IAM Cycling), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas Vaubourzeix (Lupus Racing), Alex Cataford (Silber Pro Cycling) and Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling)
Jelly Belly-Maxxis worked hard to protect the leader jersey of Lachlan Morton and they took control of the chase back in the field with help from Holowesko-Citadel, which was hoping to set up a reduced-bunch sprint for the previous day’s winner Travis McCabe.
When the peloton hit the final climb, attacks started to come and they were a number of moves and counterattacks in the final kilometres. The surges and attacking over the final climbs thinned the main field down to about 25 riders and also dragged the bunch up to the breakaway, who where brought back with six kilometres to go.
BMC Racing and Trek controlled the peloton in the closing stages before Joseph Rosskopf (BMC Racing Team) opened up his sprint from a long way out, with Reijnen able to come round his wheel and hold off challengers to take the win.