5 years ago by Sam Wiebe

Rob Britton Smashes Time Trial, Takes Lead in Utah

Second Straight Yellow Jersey for Rally Cycling at America’s Toughest Stage Race

Rob Britton charged up Big Cottonwood Canyon in the stage three time trial to claim an emphatic victory and take the Tour of Utah leader's yellow jersey. The nine-kilometer uphill course ascended 1,722 ft, finishing at 8,776 ft above sea level. Britton smashed the course in a fantastic time of 18:26, 13 seconds faster than runner-up Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis) and 26 seconds faster than third-place Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare). Britton’s impressive ride gave the team its second yellow jersey of the race and moved him into the overall lead. Overnight race leader Sepp Kuss finished in 17th, while Adam de Vos crossed the line in 20th and kept the Most Aggressive Rider jersey for another day.

"I was excited when I saw there was going to be an uphill time trial,” said Britton. "The event and course suit my strengths, and I just tried to go flat out and into the red. Once you go over the 8,000 ft mark, you really go into oxygen debt. At that point, I just held on for dear life, tried to limit the damage and hold on in the final kilometer. It is great to have a small gap going into the final four stages, but there is still a lot of racing ahead. We have a strong team and plan on keeping the jersey.”

Rob Britton powers up Big Cottonwood Canyon to win stage three of the Tour of Utah

In the general classification, Britton now leads Mannion by 26 seconds with Tvetcov in third, 28 seconds down. Sepp Kuss remains a threat for overall victory sitting just 1:04 back in tenth place. With four stages remaining, the team aims to add to its tally of stage wins and claim overall victory. In tomorrow’s stage four into South Jordan City, the team will look to Eric Young and Colin Joyce to grab another stage victory while also dedicating itself to the defense of Britton’s yellow jersey. The road ahead includes the traditional finish into Bountiful that ends with two demanding circuits that rarely sees the peloton finish intact. Stage six will see the riders tackle the 32-kilometer, 4,000 ft ascent to Snowbird Resort. The Tour of Utah ends on Sunday with a circuit race through the streets of Salt Lake City.

“Today Rob showed he is here to win the bike race.” said Performance Manager Jonas Carney. “He has been riding and training well, so we knew he was going to be one of the top guys. We are going all in to defend the jersey for Rob – it's going to be very difficult. We have a solid team here, but there are four tough days ahead. It’s hot, it’s at altitude, there is a lot of climbing, but we are going to give it everything we have.”

Tour of Utah Stage 3
1. Robert Britton (Rally Cycling)
2. Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis)
3. Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare)
4. Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing Team)
5. Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF)
6. Kyle Murphy (Cylance Cycling)
7. Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman)
8. Manuel Senni (BMC)
9. Simone Sterbini (Bardiani CSF)
10. Keegan Swirbul (Jelly Belly-Maxxis)

Tour of Utah General Classification After Stage 3
1. Robert Britton (Rally Cycling)
2. Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare)
3. Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis)
4. Kyle Murphy (Cylance Cycling)
5. Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman)
6. Brent Bookwalter (BMC)
7. TJ Eisenhart (Holowesko-Citadel)
8. Robin Carpenter (Holowesko-Citadel)
9. Jonathan Clarke (UnitedHealthcare)
10. Sepp Kuss (Rally Cycling)