After two stages of summit and uphill finishes, James Piccoli is in second spot in the Tour of Utah. On Thursday Piccoli came in eight-seconds behind the day’s winner Ben Hermans in North Salt Lake. Hermans, who won the 2017 Tour of Oman while riding for BMC, took the lead on Wednesday by winning atop the formidable ascent of Powder Mountain Resort.

After receiving a time penalty on Stage 1 that sent him from first to 13th in the GC, Piccoli clambered up Powder Mountain Resort to second place 20 seconds behind Hermans.

Hermans gave credit to his Israel Cycling Academy team following Thursday’s victory, a squad that includes Guillaume Boivin. Boivin is currently 28th on GC.

Another Canadian, Nigel Ellsay of Rally Cycling, was in Thursday’s breakaway. His teammate and compatriot Rob Britton, the 2017 champion, is the second best Canadian at eighth place, 3:12 in arrears of Hermans.

Piccoli has opportunities to peg back Hermans on Friday’s sharp uphill finish in Salt Lake City, a milder uphill finish in Canyons City on Saturday and on Sunday’s Empire Pass, which crests 9-km from the line in Park City.

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