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.
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/.
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.
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
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.