SALT LAKE CITY – Marco Canola jumped ahead of the sprinters left from a reduced bunch, holding off Travis McCabe and Brendan Rhim to win Friday night’s criterium-like stage in the Tour of Utah.
The stage in the state capital covered eight laps of just under seven miles apiece, yet the field came together on a steep ascent inside of a mile to go. James Piccoli surged to the front in search of a win that has eluded him all week, but Canola swept past everyone to pick up the win.
Ben Hermans held onto his overall lead by 44 seconds. Piccoli remained in second place.
Hayden McCormick made an embarrassing mistake when he surged to the front at the conclusion of the penultimate lap, then threw his arms in the air in celebration thinking he had won.
Griffin Easter, a Fort Lewis College alum and 2019 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic road race winner, had another strong performance, as he finished 10th on the stage. The 303Project team rider finished in the same time as Canola. He remained 14th in the overall standings with two stages to go. He is 6:09 behind the lead time of Hermans and 1:03 behind Keegan Swirbul, the 2015 IHBC champion from Basalt who sits in 13th.
The stage Saturday takes riders 80 miles in Park City.
The Durango Herald contributed to this report.