Tour of Utah: Vermaerke looking past Powder Mountain to puncheur stages

Kevin Vermaerke has already put together an inaugural U23 season that would be the envy of any of his peers, having picked off the Liège-Bastogne-Liège jewel early in the season at age 18.

But the Hagens Berman Axeon rider isn’t resting on his laurels from April, instead he’s focused on adding more lines on his palmares before he turns 19 in October.

“There’s always something bigger and better you can do,” he told Cyclingnews before the start of stage 1 at the Tour of Utah on Tuesday. “So I’ll just keep working and keep trying, and we’ll see. Hopefully, there are a few more big goals coming up this year.”


The next goal on Vermaerke’s list is the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, where Vermaerke is currently 17th overall, 28 seconds behind race leader Lawson Craddock (EF Education First). Vermaerke’s Portuguese teammate João Almeida is currently second overall, six seconds back.

“In this race, I’m trying to go for the GC, so we’ll see how I get on there,” he said. “In particular, stages 3 and 5 really suit me. I’ll be trying to go for those. The shorter, punchy climbs suit me. Both have climbs around 8, 10, 15 minutes, which is a perfect length for me.

“The team has been in Park City the last few weeks at altitude, so I feel good at altitude. I’m hoping I can do something there.”

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