Trek Factory Racing’s Matthew Busche has decided to start the USA Pro Challenge on Monday in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The US road champion's participation was unconfirmed until Saturday because he is recovering from a high-speed crash that took place at the Tour of Utah last week.
“I am going to give it my best, there is no guarantee for any result. I can tell you that it’s been a rough 10 days, and at this point I have no idea how it is going to go and all I can do is try, ” Busche said in a team press release. “Right now my left knee is the worst; I can say with certainty I am not 100 percent injury-free.”
At the Tour of Utah, Busche was involved in a crash on a fast descent off the Trappers Loop climb with some 70 kilometres left in stage 3’s 176-kilometre race from Antelope Island State Park to Bountiful. Although early reports said he had broken his collarbone, Trek Factory Racing later confirmed that Busche suffered from extensive road rash and bruising.
Initially Busche wasn’t sure if he was going to be recovered enough to start the USA Pro Challenge. On Saturday, however, he announced his participation in the seven-day race held from August 17 to 23.
Busche had targeted the USA Pro Challenge as a major season goal because of the high-altitude climbing. The challenging parcour starts out with a 156km circuit race in Steamboat Springs and reaches higher elevation during stages 2, 3, 4 and 5, consistently tapping 3,000 metres and higher.
“It’s not a mellow start and that will make it hard as there’s no easing back into it. The first stage is hefty, and it’s hard enough for me to race let alone this [circuit] course in Steamboat Springs – the parcours is really difficult," Busche said.
“I have my work cut out for me and right now my goal is to make it though the week. I am hoping that when I get out there my competitive edge will take over, so hopefully something good will happen.”