Jay Thomson would assert himself upon the 2nd Tour of Utah stage by making the break of the day and then still sprinting to 10th place after getting caught by the reduced peloton. Jure Kocjan (Smartstop) was the rider who won the stage.
After an early attack by Adrien Niyonshuti was caught inside of the first 15km, Jay then went on the attack and would lead the race solo up to the 40km mark where 3 riders then joined up with our South African strongman. The yellow jersey team was a bit nervous to give the break much of a gap so Jay and company were held at 4 minutes for the majority of the day.
The only real obstacle of the day was the cat 3 climb that came with 30km to go. It was here that the break lost their advantage and a fast tempo in the peloton saw only 45 odd riders survive over the top. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had 3 riders in this lead group, Jay, Johann van Zyl and Natnael Berhane.
It was a quick run-in to the final city circuits and Johann again showed the great form he is in by being involved in all of the attacks that went on the 3 local laps. Natnael also showed promising signs to close down a few late moves and keep his GC battle aspirations in tact while a few others lost time. Jay sat in for the final few kilometers to prepare for the group sprint and despite spending a lot of energy in a 110km breakaway effort, he could still sprint to 10th place.
Natnael Berhane finished the stage in 12th spot while Jay moved to 5th on GC and Johann is now 8th on GC to complete a good day for our African team.
Jay Thomson – Rider
I am finally finding my legs again so I can’t complain about today. I knew the final climb from doing it in the past and I knew it wasn’t an easy one. For some reason I also wanted to test my legs in the break. In a way I am disappointed how things worked out, but in a way I’m also happy. Unfortunately I messed up the sprint and I couldn’t fight for the victory but I really feel like my form is building so I will keep on trying.