Young American Tanner Putt Sprints to 8th Place in Grand Prix Le Samyn
In one of his first races since joining the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, 22-year-old Utah native Tanner Putt sprinted to 8th place in Belgium’s Grand Prix Le Samyn. The race began in Quaregnon and led the riders on a long loop through the Belgian countryside before circling back towards the town of Dour to complete four finishing circuits. The riders’ fitness, fortitude, and equipment were thoroughly tested along the 201.5-kilometer route as they faced moderate winds and numerous cobbled sectors ranging from 500 meters to 1.5 kilometers in length. Multiple breakaway attempts animated the already challenging race, lifting the pace with each attack and chase. With the help and guidance of his older and more experienced teammates, Putt navigated the rough and narrow roads, making selection after selection and emerging among the top 20 riders as the race entered the final kilometers. “In the last lap, I went with a few attacks but nothing stuck. Over the last cobbled section, seven riders got away and I won the sprint from the second group,” Putt said of the finale. Teammate Federico Zurlo joined Putt at the front of the race in 21st place.
Putt reflected on how the day’s action unfolded, “In the team meeting, our director gave me the leadership for the day because it was a good course for me and I had good legs from last week’s races in France. It was really important to stay at the front of the race on all the small and dangerous roads. The older guys on the team; Murphy, Frosi, Baz and Jones were excellent about putting me in the right spot. It was good to learn from them today, as well. I’m really happy with my team and the result today!”
Sporting Director Roberto Damiani concluded, “Today, there are two very important points to note– First, our young riders Tanner Putt and Federico Zurlo gave a great demonstration of their quality and potential. They had the confidence of the team and have responded with a very high-level performance. Secondly, our expert riders; Förster, Jones, Murphy and Bazzana have supported the two young riders with great team spirit.” The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team resumes their european classics campaign on March 6th at Driedaagse of West Flanders while another contingent of the team travels to Malaysia to begin the 8-stage Tour de Langkawi on March 8th.