Yesterday the USA Pro Cycling Challenge wrapped up in Denver, Colorado on a flat and fast stage that favored the sprinters. It was a fitting way to end the seven day event that continues to improve every year and grow in prominence on the cycling calendar. As usual, the race offered plenty of climbing and altitude for the riders to contend with, but the course was set-up this year to let the sprinters shine as well and one man certainly took good advantage of those opportunities.
As we suspected on Friday, it was going to be tough to catch Tejay van Garderen, who held a 30 second lead over his closest rivals. Saturday and Sunday’s stages were not conducive for others to try to make up that time so it seemed a foregone conclusion that he would head for the finish line with the Yellow Jersey on his back. That proved to be accurate and van Garderen went home as the winner. Second place went to his BMC teammate Mathias Frank while Tom Danielson of Garmin-Sharp locked down third place.
In the race for the other jerseys, it was Peter Sagan of Cannondale who proved to be too tough to beat in the points competition. The sprinter walked away with a victory on four of the seven stages, including yesterday’s final ride through Denver. The award for the best young rider in the race when to Garmin-Sharp’s Lachlan Morton and the King of the Mountain jersey was awarded to American Matt Cooke riding on Team Jamis-Hagens Berman Presented by Sutter Home (how’s that for a mouthful?).
That wraps up another great race for this three-year old event that has become a popular one with riders. Each year, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge continues to draw some of the best riders in the world and the future for the event seems bright. Lets hope the race is around for a long time to come.
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