USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Vande Velde takes title

Jens Voigt of Germany riding for Radioshack-Nissan attacks the breakaway on the start of the Flagstaff Mountain climb to the finish of stage six of the USA Pro Challenge from Golden to Boulder, Aug. 25, 2012 in Boulder, Colorado. Voigt finished third in the stage and earned the king of the mountains jersey. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.

Taylor Phinney wins final time trial stage in Denver

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — American cyclists swept the top three spots in the second edition of America’s Race, the seven-stage 2012 USA Pro Challenge that saw top racers from around the world battling their away across some of pro cycling’s highest terrain. Full results here.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda) outdueled rival Tejay van Garderen  in the final stage, a time trial through the streets of Denver, for the win, while last year’s champ Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) took third place after briefly wearing the yellow leader’s jersey after Saturday’s penultimate stage from Golden to Boulder and up to finish at Flagstaff Mountain.

American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda) took the overall sprint title, while German Jens Voigt was crowned king of the mountain for his outstanding rides over high country passes, with summits as high as 12,000 feet. Continue reading

Morning photo: 2012 USA Pro Challenge in Breckenridge

Celebrating two-wheelers

Riders jockey for position during a parade lap around Breckenridge, Colorado before the start of Stage 5 of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

SUMMIT COUNTY —Breckenridge has always been a bike-crazy town, and when the 2012 USA Pro Challenge came to town Aug. 24 it was a great excuse for a day-long party. After a thrilling start along Main Street, some cycling enthusiasts enjoyed citizen sprints, live music and bike-themed art, while other simply settled in to watch the racers on a huge outdoor screen. Stage 5 saw the racers climb Hoosier Pass, speed through the wide-open spaces of South Park, then breach the Front Range mountains before speeding down into Colorado Springs, where the peleton caught up with an early breakaway group to set up an exiting sprint finish, won by Tyler Farrar, just ahead of Taylor Phinney. Tejay van Garderen is still wearing the yellow jersey but could face some challenges on Saturday’s all-important Golden-to Boulder-stage. Get all the results and follow the tour live at  http://usaprocyclingchallenge.com/.

Faces in the peleton …

Continue reading

Van Garderen takes Stage 2 in USA Pro Challenge

Stage 2 ends with steep climb to Mt. Crested Butte

Racers speed along the shore of Blue Mesa Reservoir. Photo courtesy USA Pro Cycling Challenge and Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.

ejay Van Garderen riding for BMC Racing celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win stage two of the USA Pro Challenge from Montrose to Crested Butte on August 21, 2012 in Crested Butte, Colorado. Photo courtesy Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — American racers Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) and Christian Vandevelde (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda) swept the top two spots in Stage 2 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, edging out Russian rider Ivan Rovny (RusVelo) in the 99-mile stage from Montrose to Mt. Crested Butte.

Stage 2 was a mix of old and new, covering a new route for the first 62 miles, then veering back to the 2011 route up to the last grueling climb to the finish in Mt. Crested Butte.

Early climbs over Cerro Summit and Blue Mesa Summit helped set the stage for early breakaway specialists before the course flattened out along Blue Mesa Reservoir and the first sprint of the day in Gunnison, which will also host the start city of Stage 3.

Last year’s winner Levi Leipheimer took the overall lead during the final 12-mile climb to Mt. Crested Butte.

Jerseys

  • Exergy Leader Jersey – Tejay Van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team
  • Waste Management Sprint Jersey – Tyler Farrar (USA) of Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda
  • Nissan King of the Mountains Jersey – Tom Danielson (USA) of Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda
  • Aquadraat Best Young Rider Jersey – Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) of Bontrager Livestrong Team
  • Evolve Most Aggressive Rider Jersey – Rafael Infantino Abreu (COL) of EPM-UNE

Overall standings

Tyler Farrar takes stage 1 of 2012 USA Pro Challenge

Tuesday’s Stage 2: Montrose to Crested Butte

The peleton rides through the San Juans of southwestern Colorado during Stage 1 of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Photo courtesy USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Tyler Farrar (USA – Team Garmin-Sharp) rides to victory in Stage 1 of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Photo courtesy USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Racing against not only each other, but against an impending rain storm, riders in the 2012 USA Pro Challenge stayed together as a pack until Tyler Farrar sprinted to a narrow lead in downtown Telluride for the stage win.

American Farrar, riding for the Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda team, outdueled Italy’s Alessandro Bazzana  (Team Type 1-SANOFI) and Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) after a 125.7-mile route from Durango to Telluride, including a tough climb and thrilling descent of Lizard Head Pass.

“This is the first time I’ve done a U.S. stage race since 2009,” said Farrar. “It’s special as an American to race in your own country and have fans that are rooting just for you, for our team. Racing in Colorado is important, and a big bonus for us.”

“We knew we had the top riders in the world racing in the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, but today, with the competitive level of racing we saw right out the gate, they showed they’re here to win,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “We saw impressive crowds cheering on the riders at the start line in Durango all the way to the packed streets of Telluride this afternoon. We have an exciting race ahead of us.”

Tuesday’s stage is a day-long uphill battle from Montrose (starting at 11:25 a.m.) to Mt. Crested Butte.

Follow @USAProChallenge and @TourTracker on Twitter for live updates.

Tyler Farrar is pumped after winning Stage 1 of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Photo courtesy USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

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