Mathias Fränk takes Stage 2 USA Pro Challenge Win

The second stage of the USA Pro Challenge featured cyclist riding up and over Independence Pass located 12,000 ft above sea level, which is the highest altitude reached in any professional cycling race in the world.  Along the 126.1-mile route cyclist went up and over 3 mountain passes as they road from Aspen to Breckenridge. Mathias Fränk took the win while Lachlan David Morton will be wearing the yellow jersey heading into Stage 3 on Wednesday after riding strong throughout the day. Lachlan David Morton is only 21 years old an finished in second place while competing in his first year of professional cycling.

USA Pro Challenge Stage 2The well-known, epic climb on Independence Pass drew fans from all around the world to cheer on the cyclist as they suffered to the top, with enthusiastic costumed fans running alongside the peloton.  Which came as no surprise as Colorado is the cycling capitol of the United States, in fact 18 of the riders in the USA Pro Challenge reside in Boulder, Colorado.

About three hours into the race the RadioShack Nissan Trek and Cannondale Pro Cycling teams in the peloton hit the gas as they began to close the gap, eventually swallowing up the leaders.

As the break approached the  final sprint of the day in the small town of Fairplay, Van Avermaet attacked and crossed the line first, followed by Schleck and Beyer. With two more climbs and 26 miles to go, it was still anybody’s stage.

On the second climb of the day up Hoosier Pass, riders began to drop off the break.  Morton saw an opportunity and started pulling away  followed by Fränk and Craddock. As the trio came down the pass they were hauling at speeds of around 50 mph, the three riders grouped together as the peloton started to give chase.

Mathias Fränk and Colorado Fans Racing Up Boreas Pass

Mathias Fränk and Colorado Fans Racing Up Boreas Pass

Reaching the final climb of the day on Boreas Pass, Fränk rode through the sea of fans and was the first to reach the summit, followed by Morton and Craddock. With only 2.5 miles to go, the nail biting began as the pressure was on.

Stage 1 winner Peter Sagan of Cannondale Pro Cycling, and Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team, made a move out of the peloton to try and catch the leaders. However it was a bit too late as a sprint through Breckenridge gave Fränk the stage win, with Morton and Sagan finishing just seconds behind.

“I really had one shot, and today I knew that I could make it there on the short, steep climb,” said Fränk, “I definitely had the plan to go for the stage win today. The altitude here really got to me. I really had to go super deep there at the finish. Now I have a stage win here and I’m really happy with that.”

Stage 2 Results

  • First –  Mathias Fränk (SUI) of BMC Racing Team
  • Second – Lachlan David Morton (AUS) of Team Garmin-Sharp
  • Third – Peter Sagan (SVK) of Cannondale Pro Cycling

GC Standings

  • First – Lachlan David Morton (AUS) of Team Garmin-Sharp
  • Second – Mathias Fränk (SUI) of BMC Racing Team
  • Third – Peter Sagan (SVK) of Cannondale Pro Cycling

Jersey Winners

    • Smashburger Leader Jersey – Lachlan David Morton (AUS) of Team Garmin-Sharp
    • 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 – Mathias Fränk (SUI) of BMC Racing Team
    • Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey – Lachlan David Morton (AUS) of Team Garmin-Sharp

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About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief. Mike spends most of his time splitboarding in the winter months and backpacking throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the summer.

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