Hofland emerged from a surging pack of sprinters and crossed the finish line at Miller Motorsports Park with his index finger wagging in the air, as he reclaimed his spot atop the podium.
Stage 3 started in Lehi and ended 118.2 miles away at the Tooele racetrack. Riders dealt with heat and strong crosswinds. And early on, Hofland and the rest of the peloton saw a group of five riders breakaway from the pack. After 60 miles, the group of Jacob Rathe, Darren Lapthorne, Daniel Eaton, Daniel Summerhill and Tyler Wren had created a gap of nearly 4 1/2 minutes.
But Hofland knew he'd have his chance later.
"I let them do all the hard work in front," he said.
The break was still at five when racers entered Miller Motorsports Park for three final laps around the racetrack. But, one by one, they fell away, with Summerhill the last to let go.
Riders from the UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling team took a late lead, but Hofland would not be denied, surging to finish with a time of 4:29:41.
Italian racer Andrea Palini and American Eric Young joined Hofland on the podium.
But no rider did enough to take the yellow jersey away from Jure Kocjan.
After second-place finishes in the first two stages, the Slovenian's sixth-place finish on Wednesday was good enough to keep the jersey heading into Stage 4.
"I wasn't afraid about keeping the yellow jersey," he said.
Thursday, however, could be another story. Stage 5 will run from Ogden to Powder Mountain, and Kocjan knows he'll have to worry about the race's top hill climbers.
"But they say the yellow jersey takes off 10 pounds," he said. "So we'll see."
In the 52.8-kilometer women's race, United Healthcare's Coryn Rivera claimed first place, followed by Guru Cycles' Mandy Heintz and Pepper Palace Pro Cycling's Meredith Miller.
Tour of Utah results
Stage 3 results
1. Moreno Hofland (Netherlands), Belkin-Pro
2. Andrea Palini (Italy), Lampre-Merida
3. Eric Young (USA), Optum
4. Ken Hanson (USA), UnitedHealthCare Pro
5. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands), Belkin-Pro
6. Jure Kocjan (Slovenia), Team SmartStop
7. Rick Zabel (Germany), BMC Racing
8. Kiel Reijnen (USA), UnitedHealthCare Pro
9. Alan Marangonia (Italy), Cannondale
10. Gavin Mannion (USA), Team Garmin-Sharp
1. BELKIN-PRO CYCLING TEAM
2. BMC RACING TEAM
4. OPTUM P/B KELY BENEFIT STRATEGIES
6. UNITEDHEALTHCARE PRO CYCLING TEAM
7. TEAM GARMIN-SHARP
8. HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT
9. DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING
10. BISSEL DEVELOPMENT TEAM
1. Jure Kocjan (Slovenia), Team SmartStop
2. Michael Schar (Switzerland), BMC Racing
3. Serghei Tvetcov (Russia), Jelly Belly
4. Robin Carpenter (USA), Hincapie Sportswear
5. Kiel Reijnen (USA), UnitedHealthCare Pro
6. Cadel Evans (Australia), MBC Racing
7. Luca Wackerman (Italy), Lampre-Merida
8. Tanner Putt, (USA), Bissell Development
9. Alex Howes (USA), Team Garmin-Sharp
10. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands), Belkin-Pro
O Ogden to Powder Mountain
Thursday, 11:20 a.m.
TV • ROOT, 2 p.m.