Tom Danielson leads for the third day

Tom Danielson, a graduate of East Lyme High School, right, maintained the overall lead Saturday in the sixth stage of the Tour of Utah, as race supporters dressed in costumes show their enthusiasm along the course.

Snowbird, Utah — Cadel Evans of BMC Racing Team outsprinted challengers to earn a victory in the sixth stage of the Tour of Utah on Saturday in 4 hours, 34 minutes, 31 seconds, while East Lyme native Tom Danielson, the defending champion, maintained the overall lead with one day remaining in the event.

Danielson, representing Garmin-Sharp, kept his leader's jersey and his 57-second advantage over Lampre-Merida's Chris Horner. Ben Hermans of BMC Racing Team remains in third, but lost time to fall 1:26 behind Danielson.

Evans, the 2011 Tour de France champion, was part of an early 15-rider lead group which was whittled down to just four riders as they hit the bottom of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the last of four categorized climbs on the 107.2-mile stage. American Joey Rosskopf of Hincapie Sportswear Development finished second, followed by Austrian national road race champion Riccardo Zoidl of Trek Factory Racing in third.

"My main goal was to come here and race hard. At the end of the day, I think we had a pretty good result out there. It was a premeditated plan today. It was a plan that was easy to make, but harder to execute," said Evans, who moved from ninth to sixth in the overall standings, 2:29 back.

"We really like racing here (in Utah). It's in some ways more enjoyable for us to race here than some of the other bigger races because of the ambiance and so on. I think we'll certainly try to be part of the race again tomorrow."

The Tour of Utah's "Queen Stage" lived up to its reputation as one of cycling's most demanding days, with 12,643 feet of climbing and four King of the Mountain climbs.

For a fourth time, the Tour of Utah returns to Park City today for the grand finale. This 78-mile stage, first introduced in 2013, rolls out of Park City at 12:20 p.m. and through Kamas and Heber. The final climb up Empire Pass has become legendary for its average gradient of 10 percent and sections that exceed 20 percent.


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