Posts Tagged 'Independence Pass'

World’s best cyclists rave about USA Pro Challenge, starting Aug. 20 in Colorado

Cadel Evans

UPDATE: Get updates for each stage and final results right here.

The USA Pro Challenge starts today (Aug. 20) in Durango, with Stage 1 finishing 125 miles later in Telluride. Here’s an overview of the stagewhich you can watch starting at 2 p.m. MDT (pre-race show at 1:30 p.m.) on the NBC Sports Network or follow online here.

AUG. 17: On second thought, Andy Schleck will NOT race in the USA Pro Challenge as he continues to recover from a fractured pelvis. Learn more.

AUG. 15: It may only be in its second year, but the USA Pro Challenge has a great reputation among the world’s best riders.

At least that was the consensus of a story in the Denver Post, which quoted the likes of 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, veteran Jens Voigt and American Christian Vandevelde praising the race.

Of course, everything can’t be perfect. Hear what Vandevelde has to say about one big change in this year’s race, which begins with Stage 1 in Durango on Monday (Aug. 20) and finishes with a time trial on Aug. 26 in Denver. See the entire route.

Levi Leipheimer will defend his title in the race that also will feature the return to racing by Andy Schleck, who has been out since an April injury.  The race also will include six of the top 13 finishers from this year’s Tour de FranceVincenzo Nibali (3rd), Tejay Van Garderen (5th), Evans (7th), Janez Brajkovic (9th), Andreas Kloden (11th) and Chris Horner (13).  Taylor Phinney, who finished fourth in the road race and time trial at the Olympics, also will compete

Top teams participating include BMC, Radio Shack, Garmin and Astana. See all the teams on the race’s official website here to learn what other top riders will compete.

Race organizers, aiming to correct a big gap in last year’s TV coverage when viewers were left in the dark, have created a plan to ensure coverage of the thrilling downhill on Independence Pass into Aspen. Read how.  In addition to being streamed live online, the race will be aired on the NBC Sports Network Monday-Friday, then on NBC Saturday and Sunday. Find listings here.

Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.

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By George, Hincapie gets a popular win in Aspen; Van Garderen takes lead from Leipheimer

WATCH ONLINE: Catch a live stream of every stage on Shack Tracker. The quality is good and standings are updated dynamically on the page. Watch here starting at 12:50 p.m. Mountain time to see Thursday’s time trial in Vail.

ASPEN — The second stage race in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Wednesday featured two brutal climbs, so perhaps it figured that the old warhorse, George Hincapie, would claim the win in a sprint finish in rainy Aspen — as well as second place in the overall standings.

Young Tejay Van Garderen finished with the lead group to claim the overall lead in the race over Hincapie by 16 seconds, while pre-race favorite Tom Danielson leapt from ninth to third, just 22 seconds back.

The leader entering the day, Levi Leipheimer, was among the first to reach the top of the final climb on Independence Pass, but lost time on the descent and now is in fourth place overall (34 seconds back), followed by Christian VandeVelde (:45 back) and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (:51).

Frank Schleck now stands 12th (1:16 back), but brother Andy stumbled badly and is 5:22 back. Find complete stage and overall standings here.

After the race start in Gunnison, a breakaway developed on the way up Cottonwood Pass and maintained a 3+ minute advantage over the peleton as they reached Twin Lakes, the beginning of the long climb up Independence Pass. Riders in the lead group included Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad), Andre Steensen and, perhaps most ominously for the pelotion, two riders from the Colombian team Gobernacion de Antioquia, Rafael Montiel and Alejandro Ramirez. But Leipheimer, forced to respond by the talented young Van Garderen, reeled in the lead group by the top of the telling climb up Independence Pass.

And now it’s off to Vail on Thursday for Stage 3, a 10-mile time trial.

Previous stages in the race:

Interested in more details about the race? Check out these links:

  • The course: From Prologue to high country, here’s where the race will be contested in Crested Butte, Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs and more. Get maps, elevation gain information and video.
  • Teams: Who’s racing? The entire list of competitors.
  • History: This isn’t the first pro cycling race in Colorado. Learn about the Red Zinger Classic and the Coors Classic.
  • The jerseys: See what the leader, top climber and sprinters will be wearing.
Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter for updates on more adventures.

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