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8:20 p.m. Sunday Aug. 23How close have you ever been to a speeding train?. Utah viewers got a chance to see just that downtown today at the end stage of the Tour of Utah.

Speed, more speed and then, well, they attack and to try to get away. Early on in the crit we saw Dave Z. and a small group of four or five take off, opening a 15 second gap to the rest of the riders.

Rock Racing was content to let them ride as it would take more than minutes for them to be a threat to the overall lead. This break was not to be, for there were teams that wanted their sprinters to have the final say in this race.

So soon we found other riders from different teams riding at the front and chasing down the leader, who had dared leave the pack. Then with the field back together Team Type 1 set out to make sure it was them that had the win.

The train of riders now flying along as they make their own weather pattern, swirling the air around downtown to a set time point where they would release the final sprint and men on bikes become guided missiles to the finish line. All the power saved for one moment to burst, explode and rocket down the strait away to the finish.

No change to the overall race standing, but the sprinters' race was finalized with the win.

Second side note the riders from the crash yesterday are doing better and will be OK. Share the road.

You can find more cycling year round at as we cover Utah riding.

Kelly Jones

11:00 p.m. Saturday Aug. 22

This was a good day for me. The Delta 7 Ascend racing bike was nimble and light. I was able to ride without stopping through Little Cottonwood Canyon, which was a personal victory for me. My heart rate hovered between 120 and 130, and I didn't need to push it higher. I simply paced myself, pedaling slowly and steadily up to the base of Snowbird. My legs burned a little, but honestly it wasn't too bad. At least today I haven't felt it. I'm sure there will be some pain tomorrow.

What was really impressive was how many of you were there to encourage me. So many spectators along the route noticed the Delta 7 Ascend racing bike I was privileged to pedal, and chanted "nice ride" to me.

The bike

After the finish, there were a number of spectators who simply wanted to see the bike close up. Touch it. Lift it. Feel it. The Delta 7 Ascend is an amazing racing bike. Because it is made wholly here in Utah, I want to sing its praises even more. As a side note, will be raffling one of these beauties off tomorrow as the final stage winds up in downtown Salt Lake City and the Tour of Utah winner is revealed. has been nothing but amazing. Their cause is noteworthy. All of the money generated through this Tour of Utah event, and all of the other fundraisers and events has been involved in this year, will go to research for rare neurological brain disorders. There has been significant interest in this cause, and I am proud to have been a small part of this week.

The pinnacle of today's event was handing out the yellow jersey to Parez Mancebo. How humble he was as I handed it over. He bowed his head politely, thanking me and smiling. Now I personally know one of the "great ones," and I look forward to following him going forward.

Impressive race

Climbing Little Cottonwood Canyon and watching the riders gather up the last bit of energy to make the climb was impressive. I watched as one rider stepped off of his bike for a moment when back cramps forced him to "straighten up." I saw another rider wobble as he laid his bike down, crouching, squatting, then without any power left in his legs, he simply dropped to the ground and bounced.

Spectators lining the canyon route yelled encouraging words. "You're almost there. Keep moving. You can do it. Don't give up. You look good, keep pedaling." Bells were ringing everywhere and there was clapping from every direction.

This was an event worthy of attention beyond the Wasatch Front. I saw riders gathering up every last bit of energy to finish the race. It was pride. It was finishing what they started. It was merely doing it because it was there; and nothing was going to stop them. I was inspired by each of the racers and their will to arrive, their will to survive and ride again. This was a defining moment for me personally. It was awe-inspiring. It might be the catalyst to get me out riding the roads more often; maybe even exciting me enough to train for a race next year? At the least, I'm simply thrilled I could be a minuscule part of it.

Today's Tour of Utah stage 4 proved to be everything it was billed to be. The race is touted as the toughest stage race in America. And, it was a tough. The heat amplified the toughness. Actually it was brutal. The high temperature in the valley hit 101 degrees. Snowbird registered 85 at the finish line. And, the heat took its toll.

The Peloton was split into fragments. The top 19 riders were scattered over five minutes. The winner of the stage, a 21-year-old phoneme from Colorado surprised many onlookers standing at the foot of the famed Snowbird Resort. His name-- Alex Howes. This was his biggest win ever. And his victory was an astounding 37 seconds.

Parez Mancebo gathered everything he had to hold onto the yellow jersey, trailing today's race by one minute and 23 seconds. Jeff Louder fell back two minutes and 10 seconds, but he managed to retain third place overall.

Alex Howes is young. But, watching him finish the race so far ahead of the other riders was more than impressive. I can't wait to see Alex in the Tour de France. His power today, climbing and leading the talented group of racers, was nothing but amazing.

Dan Pope

9:04 p.m. Saturday Aug. 22

The day started at 4 a.m. as I got up and grabbed my gear. It's showtime, or a day on The Biggest Looser, with one of the craziest challenges to date. My cycling buddy from many years ago, Russ, picks me up. Forty-five minutes later we are in Park City. The temperature is already 52 degrees, which is a big change from last year's 42 degrees. I have chosen to wear normal gear and no extra cold weather gear.

All those weeks of training will now come down to a day of survival and finish. Don't get me wrong-- I love to race, but the older I get the faster I was. My kind of race is light rolling hills somewhere in the range of 60 miles. This is all climbing and 98 miles. So I figure I will be starting out slowly and just chasing stragglers. Gary Bywater, the official, gives some last minute instructions and riders are go.

After the first five miles I find my heart rate redlining and I slowly fall back in the group. I find another rider in the same spot and we start working together. Cycling is the one sport where enemies work together. So we pound down the hill and start catching others who have fallen off the lead pace.

Soon we have a small group of eight riders. We start to get organized, with each rider taking a quick turn at the front. We rotate through, and more riders are coming off the front group and back to us.

Soon we find ourselves on the next climb, around Jordanelle, and the group shatters as riders of different levels set pace. I can see the front riders just up the road about two minutes from us. I make the most of the downhill after we crest the top and start burning matches in my legs, trying to bridge to the lead group.

Heber and Midway-- I like this area of the course. It is flat and rolling. I set the pace at 30 mph and ride away from the rest of my group and up to the next group that is off the back. I quickly look up and see the great Mount Timpanogos ahead, knowing that when and if I catch the leaders it will be a short-lived catch because of the climb to come. I slow down and go into a more survival mode, knowing that I still have three big, big climbs ahead.

There are four rollers that will sting your legs on the south side of Pineview. Then it is downhill, but this will not be a recovery area as in normal rides. I am chasing the leade, so I keep pedaling down the road.

The sun is coming up and that means the heat will follow soon. I make a joke to another rider I catch-- we should go straight and not turn. He smiles and we turn onto the Alpine Pass road and head for Sundance.

The first part is the hardest and very steep, so I find a gear, turn over and keep my head down so I won't see the steep road. This is a trick I play on my mind, so I just keep spinning. Russ hands me some fresh bottles at the feed zone. They are cold and feel great to drink. About 45 minutes later I reach the top and wonder if I can make up any time on the downhill. It's time for my Reynolds super aero wheels to do their job.

When I reach the parking lot for Timpanogos Cave I am flagged to slow down. I soon find out why as the road is lined with cars. Then I see the real reason-- a bad crash. Welcome to cycling. Crashes are not a question of if, but when. This looks bad as there is lots of blood and glass in the road. I don't see the riders. They have been moved to the side by the ambulance. I am asked to dismount, so I hike around the scene. I see an SUV with the rear window destroyed.

I get back on my bike and start riding again. When I reach the bottom of the canyon I find all the riders I have been chasing are standing around. There has been a second accident and Life Flight is there for a pick-up. I ride up to one of my teammates and tell him, "Thanks for waiting for me." Twenty minutes later we are set free to race again but my legs are cold and getting sore. I am also thinking of the fallen riders as their race is over. The group again starts to open the throttle as we ride through Alpine.

Just before we get to Sun Crest climb I see Russ again with fresh drinks for me. I toss my old bottles and put in the new cold ones, turn the corner and watch the field string out up the climb of Sun Crest. My cell phone rings and it is Jay, owner of Blackbottoms, asking if I know any more about the crash and making sure I am OK. We talk and riders roll by me. Yeah, it is hard to climb and talk on the phone.

The heat is here and the temp is rising. The top of Sun Crest has a decent I have never liked because of the crosswinds. In most canyons the wind is head or tail. On the Salt Lake side of Sun Crest the road goes back and forth, putting you into a crosswind. Today there is a wind out of the north coming across the face of the mountain, which blows me around. So I slow down to gain some control, which is hard because of the steep descent.

From here on it's all mental. You have to want to finish and just put the pain out of your head. Wasatch is short but it is a wall none the less and is strung with riders, all moving like salmon up stream.

I get my last feed from Russ as he has to get to work and I will finish alone. I find the climb to Snowbird nothing more than an exercise in suffering. It becomes true as I turn a corner and there is the devil as he yells, " Welcome to Hell." He has a sign that states, "Sell your soul for water." I ride by, knowing that every pedal stroke puts me one step closer to being done.

I soon find the road is lined with cars and people cheering. I only feel pain in my legs and feet and the heat is now bleeding off my body. As I heat up, there is no wind to wick the sweat from me. I am crawling up the road and I can do no more. For me the race is now just to finish and not to quit. I learned once never quit unless you're peeing blood or being hauled off in an ambulance. I focus my mind and keep the pedals going around.

I come around the corner and there are some teammates that didn't race today. They are all more than willing to cheer me on. They pour water down my back and on my legs to cool them. Then they give me an ice-cold bottle and take turns pushing me up the hill. They are not willing for me to give up. Thanks, Alex.

Tanner Flats is where the road flattens out and I know the finish is within reach. "Just keep spinning. Just keep spinning," I tell myself. I look down at my Garmin and see Snowbird. I then see the all-so-familiar gates of the finish. I ride through the finish line and smile at Gary Bywater as the pain overtakes me. It is over.

So the pros hold a group of 10 together up on the base of Snowbird. Then, once again, the battles begin. The first attack comes from Dave Z., which is reeled back. Then another attack, and another, until the small group is broken and it is every rider for themselves. This year it's Alex from Garmin, and in second Utah's own Burke of Bissell. No repeat for Louder this year, but he holds his third place in the general classification.

Kelly Jones

10:46 p.m. Friday Aug. 21

Taking advantage of a break this evening while working the 5, 6 and 10 pm newscasts, I scurried out to the Miller Motorsports Park to see the Time Trials, test ride the Delta 7 Ascend race bike and take a few pictures.

It wasn't surprising to find a significant number of spectators there to see the racing. This was an event worthy of large crowds. I know, the Tour of Utah is nothing like bike racing in Europe--and comparing our crowds with other major racing events there is like David and Goliath--but the scenery here in Utah rivals anything you would seen in the Tour de France or the Tour of Italy. I think anyone who has traveled to Utah this week will be impressed with everything we have to offer. The stage tomorrow is as difficult as anything the Tour de France could offer, and it is billed as the most difficult bike racing stage in the USA.

Upon arriving, a man stopped me and asked if I was going to shave my legs.

I responded, "What? Shave my legs?"

He said, "Yes, my wife says we'll see how serious Dan Pope is about riding in the race if he actually shaves his legs".

Frankly, this was completely foreign to me. I understood friction and hair, but what I didn't expect was the other more important reason. He said that if you crash, it is a lot easier to put a patch on a road rash "shaved" leg and a lot easier to remove the bandage over and over again if you don't have any hair.

After the discussion with him, I said I to myself, "I probably wasn't that serious about road racing because shaving my legs was not on my agenda for the night."

Returning to KSL tonight, I asked Kelly Jones about shaving the legs. I looked down to his legs (exposed with his short pants) and for the first time since knowing Kelly, I noticed his legs are shaved. I've known Kelly for several years, but I had never noticed he had the smooth approach to riding. I had not ever taken the time, nor understood the nature of serious bike racers and shaving their legs. Now I know.

Back to the Miller Motor Sports Park. The Teamgive folks helped me connect with Lester Muranaka, vice president of marketing for Delta 7 Sports, so that I could get the racing bike sized up for my legs.

Lester and I went to the warm up area, and I went off quickly, putting some energy into the turns on the bike. It didn't feel quite right, so returning to where Lester was standing, we adjusted the Delta 7 Ascend perfectly so that my knees didn't lock up when I was at the bottom of my spin on the peddles.

I took off again, putting speed into this ultra light-weight racing bike. It felt like 35, maybe 40 mph in a matter of seconds (probably only in my head), but the ease at ramping up the speed was impressive. I quickly learned the shifting sequence; and leaning into the light wind, I sped away one more time, feeling the ease in which the bike responded.

When I returned, I could feel my legs, so I know that this is where my challenge will be tomorrow. My heart rate was well under 120 and my breathing was easy. My cardiovascular and lungs are not going to be the problem for me tomorrow. Climbing will be a significant challenge on my legs; pacing myself will be paramount.

It is time for me to get home and sleep. I'm hydrating tonight so that the cells in my body will have plenty of liquid to draw from while I am also dealing with the heat on Saturday while climbing up Little Cottonwood Canyon. I am told if I drink a lot before the ride, I'll end up having the liquid going through my body. I have been told all week to keep myself hydrated ahead of time. My plan is still to drink plenty of water and to put on lots of sun screen. I'm excited for the ride.

Dan Pope

9:40 p.m. Friday Aug. 21

Well, the times are in and the stage is set for the showdown at Snowbird. I have had my dinner and drank enough that I have to go to the bathroom. I normally save the night before the race to clean my bike and not work on it. My thoughts are a clean bike is a fast bike because there is no extra dirt or weight and the chain is lubed up. I never change setting with less than four days before a race. This way if a problem happens it is not during the race, it is before; tires, a chain or cables are done at the beginning of the week so they have time to break in.

Tomorrow morning will be a early wake up at 4 a.m. to get food in me and make sure I get a morning bathroom stop, because I won't have to to stop while I am racing. I have planed the week so I have been having protein drinks for breakfast--I personally like Muscle Milk for the flavor.

I froze my water bottles this morning, so as tomorrow goes I will have cool drink while I ride, helping keep my body cool. If you grab an extra bottle of just water, you can pour some on your legs and that will cool them. I know mine will be on fire.

My personal goal is to be done in under six hours for 98 miles. Everything I can do I have done tonight, from pinning my number on my Blackbottoms jersey. I have everything checked off my list of things to take. I had an earlier mess up this year where I had to race in Tooele and got out there and forgot my shoes. I drove home and got them drove back out and started hour after my group had left. I finished 17 minutes off the back.

As for the pros, they will more than likely do it in four hours and some change. I feel that the leaders climb the Alpine Pass and it will be down to a group of around 10, then the mileage will take it toll on the group up Sun Crest until there are five or six.

The final battle will be on the climb to Snowbird. That is when a rider will pick away at each other until one is left, and that will be the winner.

So, the leader after tonight will have to not loose time to the other riders--and since none of the stars were in the top three, it will be war. The riders will have to figure out how to get away from each other. The timing must be right, and the rider must be able to hold the lead once he is a way from the other to the finish. This will be where the race is going to be won or lost because it is rare that time is made up in short ride like they will have on Sunday. The team leader will just not let that happen. It should turn out to be a day for the sprinters.

Kelly Jones

5:55 p.m. Friday Aug. 21

I have been watching the winds in the Tooele Valley this evening. Often in the summertime winds will move with the time of day. Typically, morning southerly winds will switch to northerly in the afternoon as the Great Salt Lake breeze moves up the Tooele Valley.

This wind shift occurred today around 10 a.m., and northerly speeds have been 8 to 14 mph this afternoon and early this evening. This is important as the riders prepare for the Time Trials. I predict that the winds will taper down to 4 to 9 mph between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., but likely will turn calm or even shift to east-southeast and southeast between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., which will make the ride much different for individual riders who take to the track later in the event.

Just a reminder that you can bring your bike and ride on the track after the Time Trials this evening. I'm taking the Delta Ascend for a test drive after the race tonight as I prepare for my big ride tomorrow. Come join me riding up Little Cottonwood Canyon and near Snowbird around the Noon hour as I ride for

Dan Pope

7:02 p.m. Thursday Aug. 20

OK, with the temps going up it is time to drink more. But more so, what is the wind going to be like tomorrow? I raced at the Miller Motorsports Park and the wind was out of control and there were crashes because riders were being blown into each other. So, if there is a lot of wind then riders will pull the solid carbon disk wheels to carbon spoke wheels--something like a semi-deep rim or a tri-spoke wheel. But if the wind in null, then bring out all the toys. I ask this because the riders will ride the full track, and that is all directions, so at some point they will be in a headwind. So, with no team to draft behind then it become the real "Race of Truth" at the Miller Motorsports Park.

It will be good to see you in your KSL cycling jersey designed by graphics and made by our local Blackbottoms clothing maker right here in SLC. These jerseys have pockets in the back so you can keep some food and have special fabric that will keep you cool and dry as you climb to the top of Little Cottonwood.

Kelly Jones

6:06 p.m. Thursday Aug. 20

The heat is on, literally and figuratively, with the Tour of Utah heading into the middle of this six-day event. As the riders ramped things up today, powering up the dizzying climb to Mt. Nebo, it was relatively cool in comparison to what we will see the next two days. The thermometer stayed in the low 80s as racers crossed the low point near Utah Lake this morning. Temperatures fell to around 70 as the riders powered up to the 9,350 foot summit on Mt. Nebo in the early afternoon.

Now, with the heat building Friday, the Miller Motorsports Park Track will be the site where the sun will be sizzling off the raceway pavement as riders speed through the curves and straight-a-ways. I am expecting the readings during race time to be 94 to 99 degrees (between 6:30 pm and 8:00 pm) in the Tooele Valley. The more significant problem will be how much heat the black asphalt radiates upward and adds to the ambient air temperature. I would say the thermometer will easily be 110+ near the wheels and feet of the riders, but it is possible under calm wind conditions that those numbers could eclipse 130 degrees. I think this might be a somewhat significant issue for the riders tomorrow, and they will need to prepare properly with excellent hydration. The other thing of interest tomorrow will be how the wheels on the racing bikes react to the hot road.

This is an individual Time Trial (with a length of 9.2 miles). There will be plenty of excitement and action at the Miller Motorsports Park, located 30 miles west of the Salt Lake Valley, when the riders race against themselves and the clock. This track has been the scene for the HIM World Superbike Championships where two-wheeled motorcycle track racers reach speeds of nearly 200 mph. This track is regarded as one of the finest, safest, most spectator-friendly motorsports venue in the world. It will be a very fast course that will give spectators visual access to almost the entire race.

Of note...there will be an "Amateur Ride" immediately following the race. Miller Motorsports Park Track will be open to any amateur who would like to ride it on their own bicycle. This is a rare opportunity, so bring your family, friends and your bike for a wonderful evening of racing and riding.

I will be there to see most of this race, while meeting with the Teamgive representatives to take a test ride on the Delta 7 Ascend bike that I'll be riding on Saturday. Teamgive is participating in the Tour of Utah as the official presenters of the Yellow Jersey, and they are taking advantage of the worldwide exposure the Tour of Utah provides as a venue to showcase their wonderful cause to "support research for treatment and cures of rare neurological diseases". Teamgive is actively engaged in sporting events through participation, sponsorship and organization of community and corporate-sponsored charitable cycling and similar athletic events. This is where I come in...riding with Teamgive to bring awareness to their cause and also to be the presenter of the Yellow Jersey on Saturday at Snowbird (after I ride the dreaded Snowbird climb).

Mentally, I am preparing for the ride today. Cardiovascularly, I am in shape for such a ride. My challenge will be "spinning" and climbing up Little Cottonwood Canyon, and keeping my legs from exhausting. I am hydrating today and will continue to hydrate tomorrow and Saturday before the ride, so that my body will already have the necessary liquid available as I build up a significant sweat while climbing the mountain. Because temperatures on Saturday in the valley will be in the upper-90s to near 100, heat exhaustion is a real concern. I recommend riders that will be participating in the 1,000 Warriors Bike Race and The Snowbird Bicycle Hill Climb drink lots of water and wear light-weight and light-colored clothing.

Dan Pope

2:36 p.m. Thursday Aug. 20

Playing like a Pro, Jeff Louder gets third, which is right where he needs to be as he tired to line up a second overall win.

Remember this is like golf, where every hole counts in the form of time because the person with the least overall time on Sunday wins. So being close is just what I stated. Saturday will be the big day.

Tomorrow is a very important not to lose to much time to anyone. Now time in the Mountains can grow very fast as a few yards can be 10-20 seconds and minutes can go away fast.

So tomorrow don't loose time to anyone because it is all about the clock. The race tomorrow is a great Time Trial and this is another great place to go and see the PRO's race in the super aero gear.

The course has very few long straight-a-ways where most TT's are out and back, This race is taking place at the Miller Motor Sport Park, which is a windy motorcycle course with constant zig-zag's. The riders can't simply put their head down and just "hammer." The riders are literally going over every inch of the track to make sure they know what to expect.

The start order is based off of overall placing at the end of today's race. So, the overall leader will be the last one to go and he will chase the second place rider, who will chase the third place rider and so on. When the overall leader starts he will know the time he will have to set and what most riders' times are to help the coach keep him on track via radio.

Today I have been setting up my crew for feed zones.

What is a feed zone? They are places along the course where your crew can hand up fresh bottles (drink) and food. You have to keep the engine stoked if you want to perform and not become dehydrated or get cramps, sun stroke over heated. I have planned what I will be drinking and eating already. Yes I will be carbo-loading the night before and making sure I stay hydrated all week.

Another thing I learned a long time ago was not to change anything the night before the race. I will air up my tires the day of the race; Everything else is done by Monday so there will be no issue or problems.

Kelly Jones

9:39 a.m. Thursday Aug. 20

Today's road closures:

Expect intermittent delays on state Route 68, Route 6, Route 141 and Mt. Nebo Loop Road from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

9:30 a.m. Thursday Aug. 20

In response to Dan's question:

There are teams and within those team are team leaders and teammates work for the team leader in many levels.

Cycling is a team sport to get the leader to win, as we have watched in past Tour De France we have seen Lance win.

His team will work for him to win by giving him water and pulling him while he drafts.

If he got a flat, then a teammate would give him a wheel and other riders would wait to make sure he made it back to the main field or pack of riders.

Here we see Oscar as the team leader and he will finish first and also get a time bonus for winning the stage as to promote the team.

Kelly Jones

9:00 a.m. Thursday Aug. 20

A question for you Kelly:

Why would Oscar Sevilla's team mate allow him to win the race even though both of them came in together?. And, why do all of the riders in the Peleton get the same time, even though as you can see from my pictures, they were spread out to some degree?

Dan Pope

8:52 a.m. Thursday Aug. 20

Stage 2

This is a great stage as with most Tour De France stages where the riders have a day of flat and then it finishes with a super climb and just gets harder and harder and harder.

The riders who want to place over all will have to be in the front on this one. Time is all that counts here in the overall. Where there is money to the first few places and any one who want the climbers jersey which is the race to see who the best climber is will have to be there and almost every day.

I find that the trick is to stay with the leader, but not do any work. Thus you get the same time and you can draft a small amount in the climbs. So you will note that the riders will protect their leader until the climb and then let them go. That way they are as fresh as possible.

Then Saturday will be the day that if you are going to make a move it will have to happen. Sunday is flat and fast and I do not foresee a big change in the overall.

Kelly Jones

8:43 a.m. Thursday Aug. 20

In response to Dan's question:

They make different bikes for different events. So if you a doing a Time Trial then you want a bike that is aero and very fast.

Your goal is to cheat the wind that is where the full rear carbon wheel comes in, by cutting the wind and making the air flow better that is also why they have the super aero bars on the front so they can close up the frontal area of the body and then with those great tear drop helmets that also cuts drag.

All of those things would not work on a climbing day where your coming down a canyon at break neck speeds and any side gust of wind would blow you off the cliff. This is where you want a helmet that is lite and give good flow over your head keeping you cool.

Drop the solid wheel for some super lite carbon rims and tires you glue on. For climbing you also want to look for a more comfortable position to better breath so they ride up right.

Kelly Jones

10:50 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 19

Stage Two: Thanksgiving Point to Mount Nebo

August 20, 2009

Road Race, mountain top finish
Length: 124 km (77 mi)
Start time: 10 a.m.
Finish time: 2 p.m.

Appearing innocent at first, the Stage Two profile is flat with the exception of an enormous spike over the final 20 miles. Riders may think they will find relief from yesterday's tough Wasatch Mountains in those first 50 miles until they start the long grind to the finish line, 4,000 feet above the low point of the course!

Mt. Nebo is a classic local climb that will bring out the mountain goats in the peloton: the slightly-built, ectomorphs whose power-to-weight ratios qualify them as freaks of nature. They'll need it all, as this climb seems never to end! The overall will surely begin to take shape after this amazing stage.

Dan Pope

4:30 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 19

I had a real treat this afternoon watching the finish of today's first stage of the Tour of Utah. The race finished with the two Spaniards Perez Mancievo and Oscar Sevilla from Rock Racing beating the Peleton by a little more than 20 seconds. They did it speeding down Emigration the Peleton was together going over Big Mountain...these two won going down the hill and holding off the rest of the racers.

I think this is a little unusual to win going don the mountain. When I have watched the Tour de France, it always seems that strong riders win by going up the mountains and holding off the other racers by brute strength and endurance.

Perez Mancebo beat teammate Oscar Sevilla by a wheel; but as you can see from my photos, the teammates both came in together.

Dave Zabriski was part of the Peleton, and you may be able to see him in some of the pictures I have attached of the actual Peleton group as it finished.

The video I attached is of the "police and camera brigade" leading the two Spaniards as they turned the corner heading for the finish line.

A question for you Kelly. Why would Oscar Sevilla's teammate allow him to win the race even though both of them came in together? And, why do all of the riders in the Peleton get the same time, even though as you can see from my pictures they were spread out to some degree?

Dan Pope

11:00 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19

The real racing starts today near the mouth of Ogden Canyon, with this deceptively difficult mountain route.

Facing two steep climbs, riders will find keeping their attention on the race will be especially challenging given the stunning canyon scenery. Looping through the high mountain valley that surrounds Pineview Reservoir, the route ascends a steep, winding two-lane road to Snowbasin Ski Resort, site of the 2002 Olympic downhill ski events.

The course then rolls along through the emerald ranches and farms of Morgan Valley, climbing to East Canyon Dam and reservoir. At this point, slightly more than halfway through the stage, riders now face the toughest climb of the day and one of the most difficult of the entire race, Big Mountain.

Rising almost 2,000 feet in just over six miles, this climb is guaranteed to separate the climbers from the pack, breaking the peloton apart in time for a final fifteen-mile downhill dash to the line in Research Park.

Dan Pope

11:18 p.m. Aug. 18, 2009

I had an exceptional experience this evening broadcasting weather live from the Prologue of the Tour of Utah. I watched with awe as the riders screamed down the east side of the State Capitol, close to where I stood; traveling at 45, perhaps 50 mph.

One mistake, and road rash, broken bones and serious pain. The sound of the bikes swooshing by, the heavy breathing of the riders, the excitement of the moment. It was inspiring. Their leg muscles bulging as they leaned into the wind with their contoured helmets and light weight equipment; built for the sleekest and fastest pace possible.

OK, I'm a mountain biker. I have ridden Mueller Park to Rudy's Flat and down North Canyon, the Park City Mid Mountain Trail, the Wasatch Crest Trail from Guardsman Pass to Mill D; so I know what it is like to do vertical on a bike. I've never ridden a carbon light tear drop framed road racing bike.

I have been invited by Teamgive to ride with them on Saturday and finish up Little Cottonwood Canyon, and present the Yellow Jersey to the fastest rider of the race.

Delta 7 Ascend. The bike Dan Pope will be riding on.
Delta 7 Ascend. The bike Dan Pope will be riding on.

Teamgive will dress me appropriately and put me on a Delta 7 Ascend racing bike (and gear it properly) so I can climb what many call one of the hardest stretches of the Tour of Utah (see a picture of this beautiful $12,000 racing bike built right here in Utah).

A little about teamgive. Formed just this year, teamgive is an organization of successful professionals with a shared passion for cycling and sports, for service to their community, and for excellence in all they do. Ultimately, teamgive supports research for treatment and cures of rare neurological diseases. They do it through participation, sponsorship, and organization of community and corporate-sponsored charitable cycling and similar athletic events. Learn more at

If you want to see me in serious pain and working myself into a full sweat, join us and line Little Cottonwood Canyon up to Snowbird between about Noon and 1 pm. Since I have never ridden the Little Cottonwood Canyon route, I'm a bit nervous as to whether I can do it.

Five hours before the professionals power up the canyon, the 1000 Warriors Race will ascend Little Cottonwood Canyon. Teamgive has invited me, along with their 29 other riders to accompany them on this difficult climb.

Can I do it? I think so, but I might need some help from all of you to get me up to the finish line.

The Shark tank; where the pros wait until they ride. They have been know to circle like sharks, thus the Shark Tank.
The Shark tank; where the pros wait until they ride. They have been know to circle like sharks, thus the Shark Tank.

One additional problem will be the heat on Saturday. High temperatures in the valley will rise into the upper 90's, so the cooler canyon temperatures will be welcomed. I'll hydrate myself with lots of water ahead of and during the climb to make sure I don't develop any heat exhaustion.

As you will notice, Kelly Jones is also blogging here with me. Kelly is a serious biker. I am truly an amateur. I'm going to ask Kelly questions about the Tour of Utah, while I share with you the reasons behind my support of teamgive.

I hope each of you will have a chance to learn a little about road racing in Utah and about teamgive and the wonderful cause they represent.

So, a question to Kelly.

Why do you and the professionals have different kinds of racing bikes for the Prologue, the Time Trials and for the Mountain Stages of the Tour of Utah? I noticed that tonight the bikes had solid wheels. Does a solid wheel make a difference in speed for Time Trial and why don't they use this bike on the Mountain Stages in the Tour of Utah, or for any racing event, like the Tour de France?

Dan Pope

9:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18**The Prolog**

This was a great event with vendors showing that cycling has a home in Utah. Carbon frame, wheels and cycling clothes are all made right here in Utah. But lets talk cycling.

Dave Z
Dave Z

This short time trial where they let riders go every 30 seconds to ride by them self over the closed course where the goal is to be the fastest out and back. This will set the stage with a general classification and give watchers a chance to watch the PRO's ride one by one.

The Time Trial is also called the race of truth because you can't hide behind anyone or draft. So bring on the aero toys. Carbon is light and strong so making solid aero wheels and tear drop frames with handle bars that make you invisible to the wind and making them into human missiles.

Who to watch was Dave Z the best TT rider around and there is always last years winner Utah's own Jeff Louder. Dave Harward set the best time early on as the second rider out of the gate and the first to finish the course catching his 30 second man.

For all the results check our website or the Tour of Utah website.

Tomorrow the real racing begin along with the first day of hard climbing.

Kelly Jones

5:01 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18I put some new brake pads on my bike that the good guys from Reynolds gave me.

The starting point for most of my rides is the Olympic Oval in Kearns because I live up the street. The ride was 110 miles and when up Parleys over to Heber and through Midway around Deer Creek and down Provo Canyon and back to Salt Lake.

Now I am heading off to the Prolog downtown to watch the Pro ride like guided missiles.

Kelly Jones


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