PureBlack Racing started its biggest tour yet as the Tour of Utah kicked off with a 2km uphill prologue that ran uphill alongside the Bob-sleigh track at Olympic Park the site of the 2002 Winter Games.
Roman Van Uden who finished in the teams best time of 4mins and 28secs to finish in 33rd place and 23 seconds behind the winner provided the following insights on the days racing.
“Today was basically a race up the side of a mountain. With the Bob-sleigh track on 1 side and the huge ski jump as a back drop its definitely a bit different to what you usually see when you are riding a bike. Dan Barry was up on the start line 1.5 hours before me so it was a great opportunity to see the course one more time from the comfort of the support car. Dan went out really hard in the first 1km and suffered when that caught up with him in the 2nd half of the race. The 2nd to last corner looked really tough, as you swing round into a head wind on the way to the finish line.”
“From there it was back to warm up on the wind trainer and get ready for my own race under the tent and out of the hot sun. Knowing I had to manage my output on such a short tough course my plan was to complete the 1st km without going to hard and then to nail it in the 2nd half. And that’s pretty much how it went for the first 1.5km. With about 500m to go I was really digging deep and pushing hard when I decided to pull it back a little to make sure I had something left for the finish. The last 200m was all out.”
“As I pulled up across the line I felt like I had finished with a bit too much in the tank and maybe just maybe I should have kept going from 500m. I’m pretty pleased with my time but would love to have been that few seconds closer to the top of the results sheet.”
Tim Gudsell (48th) was next in for PureBlack Racing 5 seconds and 15 places behind Roman with Glen Chadwick a few 100ths of a second back in 50th.
Tomorrows Stage 1 is a 187km road stage starting at 5am NZT and finishing around 10am NZT