Team NetApp heads to the USA for the Tour of Utah
Team NetApp’s second half of the season opens with two tours at the same time. With the beginning of the Tour de l’Ain in France comes a journey to the USA, in order to take part in the Tour of Utah. The American tour encompasses six stages and boasts a total distance of 875 kilometers. The biggest challenge of the tour though is the extremely high altitude in which it is raced.
“We’ll see how our riders cope with the altitude. We only have a few days of acclimatizing before the tour begins. So it’s difficult to predict whether the great performance of the team up until now under familiar conditions will also be achievable there,” explains Enrico Poitschke.
“In the line-up we have several good mountain riders, so we’ll be concentrating on the general classification. Should the opportunity arise to score a victory in the stage results, we won’t let it slip by,” continues Poitschke.
Marcel Wyss has already raced the Tour of Utah and knows about the difficulties of acclimatization: “I remember the Tour of Utah well. The race is well organized and the area around Salt Lake City is very hilly, which suits me well. Above all, the challenges are the heat and the relatively high altitude. In preparation for that I’ll have done an altitude-training camp before the tour so the change will be a little easier for me.”
With a length of 211 kilometers and 5 mountain classifications to tackle, the first stage is already the hardest part of the tour. The subsequent team time trial suits the riders, but the slightly undulating profile of the road will be unforgiving if mistakes are made. After the time trial, the route returns to the mountains. The first mountain occurs just 11 kilometers after the start, which promises a fast race and plenty of opportunities for a breakaway group. With a length of 218 kilometers and a height of 1300 meters on undulating terrain, the fourth stage is the longest and is predestined for a mass sprint. The following Queen’s stage features a total height of 3000 meters and ends with a mountain arrival. This stage will show who will claim a victory overall. In contrast with other races, the final stage isn’t a champagne-stage. Defending the yellow jersey will be difficult. The last climb leads up to a height of 1000 meters and may well change the general classification once again.
The opening stage of 211 kilometers, which begins and ends in Ogden, will show who has been able to acclimatize quickly. Already a climb of 2,724 meters is to be tackled over five mountain classifications.
Stage 1, August 7th Ogden – Ogden (211 km)
Stage 2, August 8th TeamTimeTrial Miller Motorsports Park (21.7km)
Stage 3, August 9th Ogden - University of Utah Research Park (138 km)
Stage 4, August 10th Lehi - Salt Lake City (218 km)
Stage 5, August 11th Newspark town center - Snowbird Ski/Summer Resort (165 km)
Stage 6, August 12th Park City - Park City (121.3 km)
Leo Koenig, Bartosz Huzarski, Andreas Dietziker, Reto Hollenstein, Andreas Schillinger, Marcel Wyss, Cesare Benedetti