DENVER, CO – The USA Pro Challenge wrapped up in Denver with Peter Sagan pulling off a 4th stage victory, and Tejay Van Garderen winning the overall race for 2013. Van Garderen was 2nd overall in 2012, and the victor this year. Who will be some of the stand out riders in 2014? After a week of racing in several of the mountain towns throughout Colorado, the race came down to seven stage laps throughout downtown Denver. It was great to see the amount of fans to come out to see the action.
“I felt like this was a long time coming. I’ve been so close to winning before,” said van Garderen. “Races are difficult to be motivated for after July, but with this race on the calendar, it wasn’t a question on if I was going to stay motivated at all. This is my hometown race, so I wanted it bad. It feels amazing to finally get this win.”
Leading into the final lap, 2012 USA Pro Challenge Champion Christian Vande Velde (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp was out front as the peloton started the last nine miles. All the teams got set up to put their sprinters in position for the final dash to the finish line, and ultimately it was Sagan who pulled out the win, his fourth of the race. Ryan Anderson (CAN) of Optum Presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies who took second in the stage and Alessandro Bazzana (ITA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team who took third followed him.
Sagan finished the 2013 race in 38th, hard to believe with 4 out of 7 stage victories.
Check out this video of Peter Sagan after the race!
In the overall standings, Van Garderen took first. With Mathias Frank (SUI) of BMC Racing Team taking second and Tom Danielson (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp coming in third.This was Christian Vande Velde’s final US Race prior to retirement, Vande Velde finished 22nd total in the 2013 race.
“It was more emotional than I thought it would be, but I didn’t want to think about it too much,” said Vande Velde. “During the last lap, I just thought about so many things throughout my career up until this point. I’m really fortunate to have had this opportunity and to see three editions of this race. I’m glad I got to close it out here in Colorado.”
Stage 7 Results
First – Peter Sagan (SVK) of Cannondale Pro Cycling
Second – Ryan Anderson (CAN) of Optum Presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies
Third – Alessandro Bazzana (ITA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
First – Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team
Second – Mathias Frank (SUI) of BMC Racing Team
Third – Tom Danielson (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp
Smashburger Leader Jersey – Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team
Clif Bar Sprint Jersey – Peter Sagan (SVK) of Cannondale Pro Cycling
Nissan King of the Mountains Jersey – Matt Cooke (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home
FirstBank Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Ted King (USA) of Cannondale Pro Cycling
Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey – Lachlan David Morton (AUS) of Garmin-Sharp