EF Education First‘s Lawson Craddock and Alex Howes left no stone unturned in trying to win stage 3 at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Thursday, animating the final hilly circuits in North Salt Lake but coming up just short on the stage won by overall race leader Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy).
Howes made it into a breakaway that didn’t take hold until 80km into the 138.3km stage, and then stuck with the move until just before starting the final 11.2km circuit, where his teammate Craddock bridged up with Rally UHC’s Kyle Murphy.
Howes immediately went to the front and buried himself to pull the move further away from the field and set up Craddock for the win, then sat up and ended up finishing nearly four minutes down.
Craddock and Murphy continued on alone, but the chase-group, led by Hermans and GC podium riders James Piccoli (Elevate-KHS) and Niklas Eg (Trek-Segafredo), was closing fast. Craddock attacked and dropped Murphy, but his time off the front ended quickly, as Hermans attacked with 1km to go, catching Craddock just before the crest and soloing in for the win. Murphy recovered and finished seven seconds later for second, followed by Eg.
Craddock got sixth on the stage behind Keegan Swirbul (Worthy Pro Cycling) and Piccoli, but not for lack of trying to take the stage win.
“We wanted to race our bikes and race them hard,” Craddock said in the post-stage press conference. “It was great work in the beginning by all of us.
Selling out for his teammates
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