Sergio Escutia (KHS Maxxis p/b Jakroo) soloed out of the break of seven to take the win. Teammate Dave Santos second, after a lengthy solo bridge to the break and Evan Stade (SoCalCycling.com / Craig Shelly) third.
All images ©Danny Munson
Month-long race campaign culminates with Team Time Trial
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies lands in France this week to begin preparations for the 2014 World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain. A 7-women team hops the pond and will kick off their month-long campaign at France’s GP de Plouay. The 121 kilometer single day race in the Brittany region will be the first international World Cup race the Orange & Black tackle as a unit.
“This will be our first World Cup in the history of the team, so that’s creating a great vibe and tons of motivation for the riders right now,” said Performance Director Kevin Field. “Brittany is a region that’s special in the history of French cycling – like Flanders is for Belgium. People in Brittany just love the bicycle, and racing here is always a special experience.”
Canadian champion and La Course podium finisher Leah Kirchmann will lead the team in Brittany, alongside Annie Ewart, Lauren Hall, Janel Holcomb, Brianna Walle, and Jade Wilcoxson. Denise Ramsden will serve as an alternate for the trip after recently developing bronchitis. Field and assistant director Pat McCarty have ingrained an intense focus on the Team Time Trial World Championship in Ponferrada into the 2014 season. The team completed numerous time trial camps around the United States, and one final push in Europe could give the team what it needs to deliver another result on the world stage.
“We just completed a 10 day training camp near the team’s service course in Colorado to finish a year’s worth of preparations for this, so the women are feeling strong and motivated,” said Field. “The team has consistently delivered in the races we’ve done in Europe this year, and the riders have had a month off of racing, so they’re fit and fresh. Obviously our big focus is Worlds, but we are going to aim for a big result to start off the month here in Europe.”
Following GP de Plouay, the team will compete in France’s six-day Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche, September 2-7. Many of the same athletes the Orange & Black will face for a team trial gold medal later that month will also contest the seven stage event.
GP de Plouay Roster
alternate Denise Ramsden
Women’s Race Schedule
August 30 – GP Plouay. World Cup
September 2-7 – Tour de l’Ardeche
September 21 – World Championships TTT
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Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, August 25, 2014 – Team Garneau-Quebecor is proud to present the riders that will be on the starting line one of the most important race on their calendar: the Tour of Alberta. This year, Garneau-Quebecor has the chance to welcome a special guest, a rider of the Rwanda National Cycling Team, Janvier Hadi. Janvier won the Prologue of the 2013 Tour of Rwanda. He also became the first Rwandan to podium at the Continental Championships in Egypt in 2013, taking 3rd in the U23 Road Race.
For Louis Garneau, Janvier Hadi’s participation is another way to provide a stepping stone in a cyclist’s career: “It’s a pleasure for me to see Janvier Hadi with our Team Garneau-Quebecor for the Tour of Alberta. Janvier is a child of the genocide that took place 20 years ago this year and to which he lost family members. Today, he dreams of Olympic Games and Tour de France. I’m proud to make him discover our region and to help him realize his dreams. Good luck Janvier!
“We greatly help the Rwanda National Cycling Team in its development and to invite one of its riders to be a part of our Continental team truly reflects our mission to help young riders get to the next level,” added Louis Garneau.
The team will also count Pierrick Naud, Geoffroy Dussault, Benjamin Chaddock, Jake Kauffman, Simon-Pierre Gauthier, Julien Gagné and Adam Farabaugh, who wore the Most Aggressive Rider jersey of a stage in 2013.
Farabaugh hopes for even more this year for the team: “I would like to further improve upon getting the Most Aggressive Rider’s jersey on Stage 5 last year with a more established presence in the breakaways along with helping our sprinters on the sprint stages to get the team increased visibility and results. I think it will be very achievable for both myself and the team to get a number of top 5′s. If we can do this we will have a very successful race.”
Louis Garneau is also proud to be a sponsor of the race, providing the official Stage Leader, Best Sprinter, Best Climber, Best Young Rider, Most Aggressive Rider as well as Best Canadian Rider jerseys. In addition, the company has created an event jersey that will be offered to consumers on site and online at tourofalberta.ca.
The Tour of Alberta will take place from September 2 to September 7, 2014, over 5 stages from Calgary to Edmonton.
Tejay van Garderen won his second straight USA Pro Challenge title Sunday while the BMC Racing Team repeated as team champions of the week-long race in Colorado.
A Proud Moment
Van Garderen’s margin of victory was 1:32 over Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) and 1:45 over Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis). BMC Racing Team’s Ben Hermans was also in the top 10 in ninth, 3:44 back. “I really worked hard for this so it is really satisfying, especially to win such a great race in the state where I live,” van Garderen said. “It is made even better by the fact that we also won the team title. To be able to celebrate up there on the podium with all of my teammates was a proud moment.” Van Garderen, winner of two stages himself, tried to help teammate Michael Schär win a third by leading him through the final corner of the 126.2-kilometer race that finished in Denver. But Schär was unable to hold off Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp), who nipped Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) at the line as Schär finished third, earning the BMC Racing Team its sixth podium finish of the race. Van Garderen’s victory was his fourth of the season and the BMC Racing Team’s 25th this year. He also won the “best Colorado rider” classification ahead of 12 other residents of the state.
Handled The Pressure Well
The day started with a symbolic appearance on the start line by injured BMC Racing Team rider and reigning U.S. national time trial champion Taylor Phinney, who lives in Boulder, site of the stage start. From there, the BMC Racing Team worked to keep a breakaway in check before bringing the race back together inside the final kilometers. Schär, who soloed to win a stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah earlier this month, thought he had another one in his sights. “With 50 meters to go and I thought I had it,” the past Swiss national road champion said. “I was on the right side and those two guys came on the left and got me on the line. It is OK, though; I am not a sprinter.” BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said he could not have imagined the race going much better. “Tejay handled the pressure of being defending champion well,” Stewart said. “All of the guys rallied around him every day and we showed just how strong we were by winning the team title. I am especially pleased with that achievement.” Members of the winning team alongside Hermans, Schär and van Garderen were Brent Bookwalter, Yannick Eijssen, Martin Kohler – who was runner-up on Stage 4 – Peter Stetina and Rick Zabel.
BMC Racing Team’s Tejay van Garderen Sets New Course Record and Wins USA Pro Challenge Individual Time Trial
Rainy Day Can’t Stop Best Cyclists and Fans in the World
Vail, Colo. (Aug. 23, 2014) – In the race of truth, Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team emerged victorious, finishing in 24 minutes and 26 seconds, winning the stage and shattering his previous course record of 25 minutes and two seconds. After the 2014 USA Pro Challenge Stage 6 individual time trial, van Garderen extended his overall lead to one minute and 32 seconds heading into the final day of racing.
“This is my third time trial in Vail,” said van Garderen. “The first time I did it, it couldn’t have been worse. I went way too hard and lost the yellow jersey. Last year, I can’t say it was bad, but you could see I was really struggling on TV and barely holding on. This year, I felt powerful the whole time and tried to stay conscious the first half. It’s just about judging the altitude on this course.”
The USA Pro Challenge individual time trial course’s roots are in Colorado racing lore and trace back to the Coors Classic. The race against the clock started in Vail and climbed most of the way up Vail Pass, which was a challenging ride, even for the best riders on earth. With rain on and off throughout the day, the gentle grades of the first half of the course gave way to a steady climb for the last three miles. It took more than legs on this strategic course though. If they went too hard early the climb could destroy any chances of winning, but if they conserved too much for the climb, then the leaderboard may have been out of reach.
“The route that we utilize for the Individual Time Trial in Vail is an iconic part of cycling history,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “This stage is challenging for the riders and provides excellent viewing locations for our fans…it’s perfect. We had some weather today, but everyone toughed it out and it was a great day of racing.”
Last year, van Garderen rode the 10-mile course in 25 minutes and two seconds, which was 46 seconds faster than the last course record set in 2011. The first rider went off at 1:05 p.m. and they would continue at one-minute intervals until the final 20 riders, who went off two minutes apart.
At 10 miles long, the route was an uphill battle that, combined with wet conditions and elevation, proved to be challenging for the riders. Early in the race Rick Zabel (GER) of BMC Racing Team set a fast intermediate split time of 13 minutes and 57 seconds, but his finish time would be bested by Leopold Konig (CZE) of Team NetApp-Endura who had the best time at 27 minutes and 40 seconds. Kirk Carlsen (USA) of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis would move into second with his finish time, just three seconds behind Konig.
Michael Rogers (AUS) of Tinkoff-Saxo, a time trial specialist, took the course and charged it at about 27 mph to secure a split time 44 seconds faster than Zabel. A couple minutes later, Ben Day (AUS) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, who will be retiring after the USA Pro Challenge, crossed the line seven seconds faster than Konig to take the lead.
“The crowds we had in that last kilometer were pretty mad; it was a lot of fun,” said Day.
That wouldn’t hold for long though, as Rogers hit the top of Vail Pass at 26 minutes and six seconds, destroying Day’s time by almost a minute and a half.
Ben King (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp, who went off 97th today, finished one minute and six seconds behind Rogers, which would be good enough for third at that point, knocking Jens Voigt (GER) of Trek Factory Racing into fourth.
The top positions continued to switch around, as Mick Rogers’ teammate Paweł Poljański (POL) finished to take the second place slot. At this point, Tinkoff-Saxo was showing their strength with three riders in the top four on the leaderboard.
At the intermediate checkpoint, Ben Hermans (BEL) of BMC Racing Team clocked a faster time than Rogers by two seconds. That time wouldn’t hold for long though, as Tom Danielson (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp would crush it as he came through at twelve minutes and 43 seconds, 26 seconds faster than Hermans.
Danielson was putting in quite a ride, but still to come through the checkpoint was Tour de France KOM Jersey winner RafaełMajka (POL) of Tinkoff-Saxo and current overall leader van Garderen. At the checkpoint, Majka was in third, nine seconds behind Danielson. As expected though, van Garderen charged through the checkpoint at 29 mph with a time of 20 second faster than Danielson.
Pushing himself as hard as he could go, Danielson crossed the line at 25 minutes and 19 seconds to take the lead.
“I’ll be honest. I was a little insecure about today,” said Danielson. “I haven’t done a good time trial this year. It was nice to get that monkey off my back today. I felt pretty strong and the crowd was incredible. Colorado crowds are second to none. The last 500 meters were absolutely insane. I thought I was going to crash and I was in so much pain. It was really cool though. I’m very happy with my performance today.”
Serghei Tvetcov (ROM) of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis finished the stage just behind Danielson to take second place for the time being. But then, in a huge push to the finish, van Garderen crossed the line at 24 minutes and 21 seconds to not only take the stage and keep his overall lead, but set a new course record, besting the record he set last year by 41 seconds.
“Winning (the USA Pro Challenge Vail time trial) both times is just awesome,” added van Garderen. “I love racing in Colorado. To have competition like Tommy D., Serghei and Rafał Majka just goes to show that this race is one of the highest class races in the world. To win it for the second time is no easy feat and I’m really honored.”
Most of the jerseys remained unchanged today with van Garderen keeping the Smashburger Leader Jersey and Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey. With no sprint competitions in today’s stage, Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team held onto the Lexus Sprint Jersey. Ben Jacques-Maynes’ (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home performance today was enough to hold onto the Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey. And Clément Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team was able to keep his lead and remain in the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey. King was awarded the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey.
In addition to the finale of the 2014 Pro Challenge, Denver will feature another race before the pros hit the streets of downtown. The Lifeblood 5K run benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will utilize part of the race course and will take participants from the start near Seal Pond in Civic Center Park, through city streets and across the USA Pro Challenge Stage 7 finish line. The run starts at 10:45 a.m. and is open to people of all ages and abilities. Registration can be done onsite and more information can be found here: http://lifeblood5k.com/.
STAGE 7 TOMORROW:
Sunday, Aug. 24 – Boulder to Denver (133.8 km/83.1 mi)
Start Time: 12:30 p.m. MT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:50 p.m. MT
Satellite Feed Time: 4:45-5 p.m. MT (6:45-7 p.m. ET)
Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team Holds onto Lead Heading into Individual Time Trial
Breckenridge, Colo. (Aug. 22, 2014) – Stage 5 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge took the riders on a challenging and soggy route from Woodland Park to Breckenridge where an attack in the last few miles of the race would take Laurent Didier (LUX) of Trek Factory Racing all the way to the finish. Overall leader and defending champion Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team held onto his 20 second lead and will wear the yellow jersey leading into the individual time trial tomorrow in Vail.
“It was definitely a tough day,” said van Garderen. “The breakaway took a really long time to get along and my team had to control it the whole time. That, coupled with the cold and the rain, made it pretty hard, especially on my team because they had to pull all day.”
Starting in the new host community of Woodland Park, Stage 5 headed west then north through some of the most picturesque terrain in Colorado. After traveling through the Pike National Forest on Tarryall Rd. the race hit Fairplay, which will began the long grind up 11,500 ft. Hoosier Pass, the highest point in the race. Then they continued on to Breckenridge, where a final climb up Boreas Pass would take them to the finish downtown.
“We visited two incredibly enthusiastic host cities today for Stage 5 of the Pro Challenge; as a first-year host, Woodland Park had a really impressive turnout and Breckenridge, a fourth-year host, had some of the biggest crowds we’ve seen thus far,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “These riders really put it all on the line, conquering some tough terrain in some pretty nasty weather. The fans and the cyclists really showed their dedication today.”
After a 3.3-mile neutral start in light rain, the riders took off on their way to Breckenridge. Traveling at speeds of more than 30 mph, a group of eight riders broke away about eight miles into the stage. With Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies leading the chase, the group was brought back together at 23 miles into the stage.
Keeping a steady pace, the race strung out single file as the riders continued on. At 30 miles into the stage, 11 riders pulled away to gain a slight advantage, but were quickly reeled back in. Shortly after that though, an attack was launched off the front that would finally stick. The group included Daniel Eaton (USA) of Bissell Development Team; Luis Lemus (MEX) of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis; Scott Zwizanski (USA) of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies; Richard Handley (GBR) of Rapha Condor JLT; Robin Carpenter (USA) and Chris Butler (USA) of Hincapie Sportswear Development Team; Rob Britton (CAN) of Team SmartStop; Jai Crawford (AUD) of Drapac Pro Cycling; José Mendes (POR) of Team NetApp-Endura; Christiano Salerno (ITA) of Cannondale Pro Cycling; Ben King (USA) and Janier Acevedo (COL) of Team Garmin-Sharp; and Didier.
With the gap reaching up to more than four and a half minutes at the halfway point of the stage, the riders faced some nasty weather conditions with heavy wind and rain. The gap started to fluctuate a little bit, but not varying much overall. At about 66 miles into the race Carpenter fell off the break to rejoin the peloton.
The break started to reach lighter rain and brighter skies as they headed toward the first and only Lexus Sprint Line of the day in Fairplay. With fans out to cheer on the riders at the line, even in the rain, Lemus got there first, followed by Crawford and Handley.
As the leaders entered the town of Alma, BMC was setting the pace on the front of the chase behind, as they had been for most of the day. Starting on the first Sierra Nevada KOM competition of the day – Hoosier Pass – the gap came down to about three minutes. At 25K to go, less than 2K to the top of Hoosier Pass, which features an average grade of six percent and a max of eight percent, there started to be some separation in the break.
At the top of the pass, where it was only 49 degrees, the gap dropped to two minutes and 45 seconds, with Didier going over first, followed by Acevedo and King. On the descent, Didier pulled off the front to create a solo break. Lemus followed behind to start the chase and close the gap. Soon after, two other riders caught up to create a break of four that included, Didier, Britton, King and Acevedo.
“It was sprinkling, but I was a lot more dry toward the end of the stage than the rest of the day,” said King. “That high altitude is also cold. Then, you have that 15 minute descent when you’re not pedaling much and you get even colder.”
With a chase of five riders coming close behind them at only 45 seconds back, the break would have to push it to hold on until the end. Knowing it was now or never, Didier attacked on the final climb up to Breckenridge on Boreas Pass. Simultaneously, current overall leader van Garderen attacked out of the chase group with two other riders following behind. With now clear skies, the finish was not far away. A Cat. 3 climb at 10,087 ft., Didier crested the Boreas first, followed by Acevedo and Britton.
With 1K to go, Didier was holding his lead, but Britton and Acevedo weren’t far behind. Pushing it and giving his all through the final moments of the race, Didier was able to hold his lead and take the stage. Crossing right behind him were Acevedo in second and Britton in third.
“Today, I didn’t feel that good in the beginning. The first 40K was quite hard, but I was in the front at one point,” said Didier. “The really big thing here is the altitude. When I talk to other people about it, they really don’t understand until they actually experience it. When you’re in Denver, you’re going flat, but you’re already about 1,800 ft. up. In Europe, 1,800 ft. is the top of the climb and in Denver, we’re already there.”
The only change in the jerseys today is King being awarded the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey. Other than that, van Garderen kept the Smashburger Leader Jersey and Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey. Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team held onto the Lexus Sprint Jersey; Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home still has the Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey; and Clement Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team keeps the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey.
In other exciting news, Trek Factory Racing’s Jens Voigt (GER) will be giving away the bike he rode during the 2014 Tour de France through a sweepstakes on the 2014 USA Pro Challenge Tour Tracker mobile app. To enter to win the Trek Madone Team Edition bike, fans can download the free USA Pro Challenge Tour Tracker mobile app on iTunes and Google Play. Then, click on the “more” button at the bottom of the screen and complete the entry form. Entries will be accepted starting today (Friday, Aug. 22) through Sunday, Aug. 24 at 11:59 p.m. MT. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and a legal resident of the U.S. to win. The winner will be selected and notified on September 2. For full rules and details, please log on to prochallenge.com/Jens.
STAGE 6 TOMORROW:
Saturday, Aug. 23 – Vail Individual Time Trial (16.1 km/10 mi)
Start Time: 1:05 p.m. MT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:50 p.m. MT
The riders go off at 1 minute intervals until the final 20 riders, who will go off at 2 minute intervals.
Satellite Feed Time: 4:45-5 p.m. MT (6:45-7 p.m. ET)
Stage 4 Results
First – Elia Viviani (ITA) of Cannondale Pro Cycling
Second – Martin Kohler (SUI) of BMC Racing Team
· Third – Serghei Tvetcov (ROM) of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
First – Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team
Second – Rafał Majka (POL) of Tinkoff-Saxo
Third – Ben Hermans (BEL) of BMC Racing Team
· Smashburger Leader Jersey – Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team
· Lexus Sprint Jersey – Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
· Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey – Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home
· Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey – Clement Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team
· FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey – Jens Voigt (GER) of Trek Factory Racing
· Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey – Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team
Colorado Springs, Colo. (Aug. 21, 2014) – In a circuit race through Colorado Springs that included everything from flat sprints through the city streets to challenging climbs in picturesque Garden of the Gods, Elia Viviani (ITA) of Cannondale Pro Cycling emerged victorious in Stage 4 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge after catching Jens Voigt (GER) of Trek Factory Racing following a solo breakaway. Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team held onto the overall lead and has a 20-second advantage leading into the fifth day of racing tomorrow.
“Today worked out better than we could have imagined,” said van Garderen. “With such a short stage, we thought there could be attacks all day. Thankfully we were able to keep it controlled.”
A third year host city, Colorado Springs featured a challenging 70-mile circuit race today that included four Sierra Nevada KOM competitions and three Lexus sprint lines. After a ceremonial start at the world-famous Broadmoor, the race headed into town and joined up with a 16-mile circuit that would be raced four times. In addition to some flat sections, the stage featured climbs through Garden of the Gods, Mesa Rd. and the infamous Ridge Rd., which hits grades of nearly 17 percent.
“Colorado Springs always has huge crowds that are some of the most enthusiastic we see during the Pro Challenge,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “There were so many great vantage points along the route today, from Garden of the Gods to the finish, and the fans really took advantage of that. We only have three more days of racing and this is still anyone’s race. The riders have really been showing they are here to win and it’s going to be exciting to watch these final days unfold.”
“The crowds were absolutely incredible,” added van Garderen. “Every year the crowds rival any race we do, including the Tour de France. It’s hard to beat crowds like this anywhere.”
Almost immediately after they started racing, 11 riders broke away in an attack that would last for quite a while. The group included Voigt and Laurent Didier (LUX)of Trek Factory Racing, Gregor Mühlberger (AUT) of Team NetApp-Endura, Adam Phelan (AUS) of Drapac Professional Cycling, Danny Summerhill (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, Martijn Verschoor (NED) of Team Novo-Nordisk, Rob Britton (CAN) of Team SmartStop, Oscar Clark (USA) and Tims Skujins (LAT) of Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman, Steve Fisher (USA) of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis and Ruben Zepuntke (GER) of Bissell Development Team.
At just more than 10 miles into the race, the riders in the break, traveling 38 mph, had already gained three minutes and 10 seconds over the field. Approaching the first of three KOM competitions in the stage at Garden of the Gods, a picturesque national landmark, Jacques-Maynes hit the top first, followed by Voigt and Summerhill. Traveling at 40 mph, the gap increased to four minutes.
Heading into the second lap and just 5K away from the second KOM of the day at Garden of the Gods, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies took the lead on the chase and cut the gap down to three and a half minutes. At the first Lexus Sprint Line of the day, Summerhill sped off to cross the line first, followed by Zepuntke and Britton.
With UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and Team Garmin-Sharp taking the lead on the chase, the gap continued to drop leading into the second KOM of the day. Jacques-Maynes pushed it to hit the top first and build a lead in the KOM jersey competition. He was followed by Voigt and Summerhill.
Halfway into the stage and approaching the second and final sprint line of the day, Summerhill took max points, building a lead in the sprint jersey competition. He was followed by Skujins and Zepuntke.
With 40K to go approaching the third KOM of the day, Voigt launched an attack and took Jacques-Maynes with him. At the top of the climb Jacques-Maynes kicked into gear and crossed the line first, but then fell back to the chase group. Voigt reached the top second and later, from the group behind, Summerhill third. Simultaneously Didier and Verschoor fell off the back of the break and Verschoor would eventually fall of the chase as well and was reabsorbed.
With about 30K left in the race, Voigt had opened up a one minute gap on his chasers and almost three minutes on the field. As the riders crossed the line to head into the final circuit lap of the race, the chase and the field started to come together to go after Voigt. As he crossed the summit of the last KOM, Voigt had about one minute and 20 seconds on his chasers. When the group reached the top, Lucas Euser (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team crossed the line second and Peter Stetina (USA) of BMC Racing Team in third.
With teams of sprinters chasing him behind, Voigt’s gap started to whittle away in the last 15K to the finish. The rest of the Trek Factory Racing Team was doing all they could on the front of the field to break up other team’s attempts to organize a chase and help their leader to a stage win in the final race of his career, but unfortunately, at 5K to go, the gap had been cut to only 35 seconds. With the Cannondale Pro Cycling, Hincapie Sportswear Development Team and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies teams pushing the pace on the front of the chase, it would come down to the final stretch of the race to determine the stage winner.
In the end, Voigt’s effort wouldn’t be enough to pull out the win and he was caught with only 1K to go.
“We put it all on the line today. We hoped for the best and there are no regrets about it,” said Voigt. “I did my best and I don’t think I could have done better. I took as much risk as I would have dared to take and I was all in today. I would like a stage win here, but no one is going to give it to me. There is no such thing in cycling.”
In a final sprint to the finish Viviani charged across the line to take first, followed by Martin Kohler (SUI) of BMC Racing Team. Taking third in the stage for the second day in a row was Serghei Tvetcov (ROM) of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis.
“It was a huge win today. It was perfect for me,” said Vivianni. “My perfect sprint is 200 meters and when I saw the 200 meter mark, I went with maximum power. I had a great and beautiful experience in 2011 and now I’ve come back three years later and it’s still such a beautiful place. I like to race here so much, but it’s really difficult.”
Jacques-Maynes took over the Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey today. Voigt was awarded the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey for his impressive solo breakaway. With the rest of the jerseys remaining unchanged, van Garderen kept the Smashburger Leader Jersey and the Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey. Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team held onto the Lexus Sprint Jersey as did Clement Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team to the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey.
STAGE 5 TOMORROW:
Friday, Aug. 22 – Woodland Park to Breckenridge (173 km/107.5 mi)
Start Time: 11:20 a.m. MT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:45 p.m. MT
Satellite Feed Time: 4:45-5 p.m. MT (6:45-7 p.m. ET)
Defending Champion Tejay van Garderen Proves He’s King of the Mountains in Queen Stage of 2014 USA Pro Challenge
Fans Lined the Mountain Roads to Cheer van Garderen to Victory Under Sunny Colorado Skies
Monarch Mountain, Colo. (Aug. 20, 2014) – In a race fit for royals, Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team proved he is King of the Mountains during the Queen Stage of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge on Monarch Mountain, in the race’s first-ever mountaintop finish. Taking the stage win and the overall lead, in addition to the Lexus Sprint Jersey and the Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey, van Garderen dominated Stage 3 of the race.
“I love this race. Every year I’ve done the Pro Challenge, I’ve taken away something from it,” said van Garderen. “I look forward to this race every year. And unless the Pro Challenge finished higher than this before, this is definitely the highest elevation I have ever finished at.”
During Stage 3 of the race today the riders were not only faced with a mountaintop finish, but they also had to pass over it first, giving spectators a chance to see the race multiple times from the same vantage point. Starting in Gunnison, the race went east for 35 miles before tackling the 11,300 ft. monster that is Monarch Pass. The riders then descended the eastern slope of the pass and completed two 9-mile loops through Salida and the surrounding countryside. Then they tackled nearly 20 miles of climbing to the finish at 10,800 ft.-Monarch Mountain Ski Area.
“Today’s stage was everything we could have hoped for – the fans were incredible, the weather was beautiful, and the racing was intense and exciting to watch,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “This is the first year we have taken the Pro Challenge to Monarch Mountain and our first true mountaintop finish. As the race continues to grow and evolve each year, we hope to bring more exciting days of racing like today to our fans around the world.”
After a 6.9-mile neutral start out of town, the riders didn’t waste any time and immediately started launching attacks, traveling at 32 mph. With a lot of activity on the front, none of the breaks were able to stick and everyone was still riding together at 35K into the race.
At 50K, five riders, including Michael Koch (GER) of Cannondale Pro Cycling, Jeff Louder (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home, Jacob Rathe (USA) of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis and Bernie Sulzberger (AUS) of Drapac Pro Cycling, broke away and gained a slight advantage, but then were reeled back in as they headed into the first Sierra Nevada KOM of the day at Monarch Pass.
A Cat. 1 climb at 11,312 ft. with a 2,743 ft. elevation gain, Monarch Pass would prove to be a test for the riders, splitting the field into several different groups. Janier Acevedo (COL) of Team Garmin-Sharp put his climbing skills on display by pulling ahead and, with his team setting a tough pace in the group just behind, the break was cut down to just eight riders. Included in this group were Tejay van Garderen (USA) and Ben Hermans (BEL) of BMC Racing Team; Rafał Majka (POL), Michael Rogers (AUS) and Paweł Poljański (POL) of Tinkoff-Saxo; Tom Danielson (USA) and Acevedo; and Carter Jones (USA) of Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies.
Lined with fans, the climb up Monarch Pass destroyed the field and broke the riders up into several small groups. Reaching the top of the climb first was Hermans, followed by Danielson and Poljański. With about a 50-second advantage, the break screamed down the back side of the climb, past the stage finish and on to Salida where they would complete two laps before heading back toward the finish.
With the first Lexus Sprint Line in Salida fast approaching, Acevedo hit the line first, followed by Poljański and Hermans. Soon after, Rogers broke off, as the rest of the break was absorbed back into the chase.
As they continued on through the town, several attacks were made out of the chase, but didn’t stick. Then, just as Rogers hit the second sprint line of the day, taking max points, Lucas Euser (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and Daniel Jaramillo (COL) of Jamis-Hagens Berman managed to escape and start the chase. Euser crossed the line second and Jaramillo third.
As the riders left the town of Salida, Rogers maintained a 1:10 lead over the first chase group with Euser and Jaramillo, and 20 seconds behind them was the second chase group, which included GC leader Alex Howes (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp. With only 16.5 miles to go, the chasers were reabsorbed, tightening up the race.
With 25K of uphill course left to go, the riders approached the second KOM of the day, a Cat. 2 climb on Monarch Mountain with an average grade of 3 percent, but a grade of 9 percent at its steepest point. With a strong headwind on the course, the riders started to make their way up the climb.
At 8K to go the attacks began and, as the tempo picked up, riders began to fall off the back. With about 14 riders left in the front group, Danielson tried to push the pace to get time on van Garderen. Finally Matthew Busche (USA) of Trek Factory Racing launched an attack and put a gap between him and the group, but alas, that wouldn’t stick either. With 1K left in the race, van Garderen hit the gas and attacked, a move which would take him all the way to the finish line. Under beautiful skies and a picturesque backdrop at the Monarch Mountain Ski Resort, van Garderen crossed the line first, followed by Majka and Serghei Tvetcov (ROM) of Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis.
“I felt pretty well under control today,” added van Garderen. “The team rode incredibly again today. I’m glad I was able to take the jersey.”
Van Garderen now holds three jerseys, including the Smashburger Leader Jersey, Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey and the Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey. Rogers was awarded the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey for his riding in the breakaway. The other jerseys remained unchanged, with Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team holding onto the Lexus Sprint Jersey and Clément Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team maintaining the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey.
STAGE 4 TOMORROW:
Thursday, Aug. 21 – Colorado Springs Circuit Race (119.1 km/74 mi)
Start Time: 12:50 p.m. MT
Estimated Finish Time: 3:47 p.m. MT
Satellite Feed Time: 4:45-5 p.m. MT (6:45-7 p.m. ET)
Wilton, Conn. and Boulder, Colo – August 20, 2014 – Cannondale and Slipstream Sports today announced that Cannondale Pro Cycling SpA and Slipstream Sports will join forces in 2015. Cannondale, a premium brand of Dorel Industries, Inc. (TSX: DII.B, DII.A), will become a title sponsor and technical bicycle sponsor for the team and will take an ownership stake in the management organization of Slipsteam Sports LLC. Slipstream Sports, the top American professional cycling organization dedicated to ethical sport and developing the next generation of champions, will manage the overall operations of the team. Garmin, a key partner of Slipstream Sports since 2008, will remain a significant sponsor of the team in 2015. More information, including the official team roster will become available later this year.
“Cannondale is excited to team up with Slipstream to create the next evolution of Cannondale Pro Cycling with the most progressive and innovative team in the peloton,” said Peter Woods, President and CEO, Dorel Recreational/Leisure. “Professional athletes play a key role in testing our products in some of the most extreme conditions worldwide helping us to create the perfect ride for our consumers. We are thrilled about progressing our product development approach while bringing exciting racing to our fans around the world.”
“Slipstream Sports and Cannondale share key philosophies of a focus on innovation, developing the next generation of champions and a commitment to ethical sport,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports. “We are happy to work with another company, that, like Garmin, so closely shares our goals. We will be adding some great talent to an already outstanding roster and we believe the team will build on past successes and will produce very exciting racing in 2015. We look forward to what we can achieve together, both on and off the road.”
Cannondale has been involved with pro racing since 1997 when it became the technical sponsor of Saeco and the first US manufacturer to sponsor a European Pro Tour team. Since Dorel acquired Cannondale in 2008, investments in pro racing have steadily increased and have enhanced the awareness of the Cannondale brand. In 2010, Cannondale became a co-sponsor of the Liquigas-Cannondale Team and became title sponsor and owner in 2013 with the creation of Cannondale Pro Cycling.
Since 2007, the team has won three Grand Tours including the Giro d’Italia in 2007 and 2010 as well as the Vuelta a España in 2010. During that time, the team also won four Tour de France jerseys, including the 2009 Polka Dot Jersey and the Green Jersey in 2012, 2013 and at the just completed 2014 race, along with countless prestigious individual races. Throughout this time, the team has ridden the race-proven line of Cannondale bikes including the SuperSix, Slice, Slice RS, Synapse and the “Best Bike in the World,” the SuperSix EVO.
Founded in 2004, Slipstream Sports has evolved from a group of promising young U.S. riders to one of the top teams in the Pro Tour. Garmin came on board in 2008 and remains an important and significant sponsor of the team. Known for its commitment to innovation, for animating races around the world, and for its progressive anti-doping stance, Slipstream Sports has held the yellow jersey, won stages, including recently with Stage 19 in 2014, and won the Best Team competition at the Tour de France. Slipstream Sports has won the 2011 Paris-Roubaix, 2012 Giro d’Italia, 2013 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and the 2014 Dauphine, and its riders have stood atop the podium on countless races across the globe.