With his overall victory at the 2015 USA Pro Challenge wrapped up inside the final 3km of Sunday’s closing stage in Denver, Rohan Dennis (BMC) launched himself off the front in what looked like a last-gasp effort to add another stage win to the two he'd already tallied.
But the BMC leader said after the stage that he was just trying to set up teammate Taylor Phinney for the win by pressuring UnitedHealthcare into an early chase.
The gambit almost worked, but UHC's John Murphy was able to get on terms with Phinney in the finishing straight, narrowly passing the Colorado native to deny Phinney his second stage win and BMC's fifth.
"The plan was to set Taylor up by putting UHC under pressure and making them use their bullets early," Dennis said. "That was the plan. We did do what we'd planned out, where Brent dropped Taylor's wheel, but in the end it was Murphy who jumped on his wheel.
"So it didn't work out for us, but we gave it a crack and he still got second. So hat's off to UHC for not freaking out and keeping their cool when we did put them under pressure."
Missing out on the fifth win in seven stages was obviously a disappointment for BMC, but it didn't dampen the team's enthusiasm during the podium celebration, where Dennis came away with a more permanent souvenir than he may have anticipated.
"I tried to drink the champagne and it sort of sprayed down my throat, so I pulled it away," Dennis said. "I went for another drink and someone in the team accidentally hit it and it smashed into my front teeth, knocking a filling out that I've had for about 20 years."
Dennis, 25, smiled to reveal a front tooth with a small piece missing from one corner.
"Now it's a little rough on my tongue," he said. "But it adds character, like Kiel [Reijnen] said."