Bountiful, Utah —Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team’s Logan Owen nearly repeated his 2015 stage win in Bountiful on Friday but was pipped to the line by Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) and Marco Canola (Nippo - Vini Fantini). Teammate Neilson Powless moved up one spot in the overall classification and now sits fourth overall at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah with two stages remaining.
“I had deja-vu coming out of the corner since I was in the exact same spot as when I won. I thought, ‘oh man I’m set up perfect’ and I thought I had it in the bag,” said Owen. “I didn’t realize it was a tailwind; I figured it was going to be a headwind and I tried to pop out at the last moment like I did when I won. I popped out, but wasn’t in first place.”
Owen targeted the 185-kilometer stage thanks to his previous win but also because the profile suits his strengths. The 22-year-old doesn’t consider himself a pure sprinter but feels he can climb better than most sprinters. “Except Marco, he’s better than me,” joked Owen at the post stage press conference.
Stage 5 featured an out-and-back meandering run from Layton to Bountiful with two Category 3 climbs in the final finishing circuits. Throughout the stage, Axeon teammates shielded Owen from the wind and helped him conserve energy so he would be fresh for the finish. Owen expressed his gratitude for this selfless work, particularly thanking Jhonatan Narvaez for bringing him and Powless back to the front after finding themselves five seconds back at the summit.
“The guys did a great job looking after me and taking care of me all day,” said Owen. “It was awesome that Jhonatan waited for Neilson and me at the top of the climb. He really helped bring us back on.”
Powless retained the WCF Insurance Best Young Rider jersey for the fourth consecutive day and stands +0:38 back from the lead.
Saturday’s 97.8km “Queen” stage ends atop the 8,026ft hors category finish at Snowbird Resort and is shaping up to be an epic battle for the top contenders for the overall. Seven riders are less than a minute back from the yellow jersey, which is currently held by Robert Britton (Rally Cycling). Axeon will likely be working hard for Powless throughout the day and setting him up for the best opportunity to move up in the GC.
Photo: Davey Wilson