Van Garderen hoping to distance rivals in USA Pro Challenge time trial

Start times for Vail time trial

Following a day for the breakaway opportunists during Friday's stage 5 road race at the USA Pro Challenge, the general classification contenders will take center stage again Saturday when the race returns to Vail for the stage 6 time trial on the penultimate day.

The mostly uphill route, which starts in downtown Vail and finishes near the top of Vail Pass, ascends more than 460 meters over 16.1km and finishes at 2,945 meters of elevation. The stage has been in three of the four editions of the race, and the largest margin of victory has been just four seconds.

BMC's Tejay van Garderen, this year's current race leader, successfully defend the yellow jersey there last year with a win over Garmin-Sharp's Andrew Talansky on the way to his first overall win at the race. Despite his recent success, van Garderen expects Saturday's stage to be another difficult test.

"Last year, even though I won it, I still feel like I got my pacing wrong because I really started to die there in the last kilometer and a half," he said. "If you look at the time splits between Talansky and I – Talansky was second on the day – I was like 30 seconds up on him and I finished only four seconds up on him. So I'm still trying to figure that out, and hopefully I'll get it right this time."

Talansky is racing at the Vuelta a Espana this year and won't be in Vail to challenge van Garderen again, but there should be plenty of contenders for both the stage win and a possible upset in the general classification.

Tinkoff-Saxo's Rafal Majka is currently sitting second overall in Colorado, just 20 seconds behind van Garderen. He finished seventh during the Giro d'Italia's uphill time trial in May, but when van Garderen and Majka went head-to-head in the 54km flat time trial at the Tour de France, the Tinkoff rider was four minutes slower than van Garderen.

Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly-Maxxis), third overall at just 37 seconds, is a two-time national time trial champion in his home country of Moldova and has found a lot of time trial success in domestic calendar events. But it's yet to be seen if he can compete with WorldTour riders like van Garderen in the discipline. The uphill trajectory of the race might also work against him; Tvetcov lost 1:37 to van Garderen on the same course last year.

Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) is 39 seconds behind van Garderen, while Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing) is 51 seconds down. Danielson ceded more than a minute to van Garderen during the Vail stage last year, and Busche has never really shined in the race against the clock at this level.

Further down the general classification, Hincapie Sportswear's Joey Rosskopf, fifth overall at 1:14 down, is an accomplished time trialist and has been climbing well, so he could pull off a surprise result in Vail. Optum Pro Cycling's Carter Jones is currently seventh overall, just 1:22 off the lead pace, and he has also found success in similar stages.

"Carter time trials well at altitude," said Optum director Jonas Carney. "He time trials well when there's climbing, like at the Tour of the Gila this year, where he took the yellow jersey in the time trial. So we're hoping he has a good day."

Other contenders for the stage win include Laurent Didier, the Trek Factory Racing rider who won stage 5 in Breckenridge. Didier spent much of Friday's stage in the breakaway, however, and he might find himself a bit knackered after the effort.

Didier's teammate Jens Voigt, the soon-to-be-retired German rider who came up one 1km short of a stage win Thursday in Colorado Springs, said he had circled Saturday's time trial for another good effort.

"The Denver stage, there's a climb in there but it comes too early, so it's going to be a bunch kick," Voigt said in Colorado Springs. "It doesn't really make much sense to go there, so maybe I'll take it a little easy and then go for the TT. The legs are good, and maybe I can run a good place there. Maybe three, four, five, six I could do in the TT. We'll see."

Rich history on Vail course

Dating back to the Coors Classic in the 1980s and '90s, the time trial course in Vail has hosted some of the biggest names in American and international cycling. Giro d'Italia winner Andy Hampsten raced on the course, along with Tour de France winners Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond. Van Garderen said it's an honor to compete on the same roads.

"This sport is all about tradition," van Garderen said. "Some races date back 100 years. This is definitely an historic race because it was brought back from the old days of the Coors Classic. That's what people like to see. They like to see those old photos of the legends of cycling going up these roads, and it's a huge honor to be in the record books above names like Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond. That's something special."

Van Garderen has his own varied history with the Vail time trial. He wore yellow into the stage in 2011, when he finished a disappointing fifth, losing 51 seconds to Levi Leipheimer and ceding the race lead. Television images of van Garderen's emotional response were seared into the minds of many cycling fans, and perhaps even van Garderen himself.

Leipheimer went on to win the overall, and van Garderen had to be content with third and the jersey for best young rider. But van Garderen exorcized those demons last year, successfully defending his race lead in Vail and then taking the yellow jersey all the way through to the finish in Denver.

The BMC team leader said Friday that he has a "little bit" of nerves going into Saturday's individual test, but he's also confident.

"I think all the guys around me on GC, I've beaten in time trials before and I have a pretty comfortable margin," van Garderen said. "As long as I just stay calm I think I should be fine. I mean, even if I lose the stage, all I need to do really is manage the gap. So, yeah, I'm nervous but confident."

Start times

# Rider Name (Country) Team Start time
1 Aaron Perry (NZl) Team Novo Nordisk 13:05:00  
2 Johnathan Freter (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 13:06:00  
3 Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk 13:07:00  
4 Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Bissell Development Team 13:08:00  
5 Scott Ambrose (NZl) Team Novo Nordisk 13:09:00  
6 Mike Friedman (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 13:10:00  
7 Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 13:11:00  
8 Michel Koch (Ger) Cannondale 13:12:00  
9 Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team SmartStop 13:13:00  
10 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team 13:14:00  
11 Luis Romero Amaran (Cub) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 13:15:00  
12 Steve Fisher (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 13:16:00  
13 Michael Cuming (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT 13:17:00  
14 Leopold König (Cze) Team Netapp-Endura 13:18:00  
15 Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT 13:19:00  
16 Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp-Endura 13:20:00  
17 Tom Moses (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT 13:21:00  
18 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale 13:22:00  
19 Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 13:23:00  
20 Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk 13:24:00  
21 Elliott Porter (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT 13:25:00  
22 Stephen Leece (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 13:26:00  
23 Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie Sportswear Development 13:27:00  
24 Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team 13:28:00  
25 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 13:29:00  
26 Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 13:30:00  
27 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 13:31:00  
28 Edward King (USA) Cannondale 13:32:00  
29 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 13:33:00  
30 Scott Zwizanski (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 13:34:00  
31 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale 13:35:00  
32 Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 13:36:00  
33 Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk 13:37:00  
34 Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 13:38:00  
35 Gregory Daniel (USA) Bissell Development Team 13:39:00  
36 Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 13:40:00  
37 Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing 13:41:00  
38 Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale 13:42:00  
39 Jacob Rathe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 13:43:00  
40 Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 13:44:00  
41 Ian Burnett (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 13:45:00  
42 Matt Cooke (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 13:46:00  
43 Zachary Bell (Can) Team SmartStop 13:47:00  
44 Kirk Carlsen (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 13:48:00  
45 James Oram (NZl) Bissell Development Team 13:49:00  
46 Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 13:50:00  
47 Joseph Lewis (Aus) Hincapie Sportswear Development 13:51:00  
48 Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 13:52:00  
49 Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 13:53:00  
50 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale 13:54:00  
51 Ian Crane (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 13:55:00  
52 Gavin Mannion (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 13:56:00  
53 Luis Enrique Davila (Mex) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 13:57:00  
54 Keegan Swirbul (USA) Bissell Development Team 13:58:00  
55 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing 13:59:00  
56 Michael Torckler (NZl) Team SmartStop 14:00:00  
57 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Esp) Trek Factory Racing 14:01:00  
58 Jai Crawford (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 14:02:00  
59 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Team Garmin-Sharp 14:03:00  
60 Martin Kohler (Sui) BMC Racing Team 14:04:00  
61 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale 14:05:00  
62 Tyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development 14:06:00  
63 Carson Miller (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 14:07:00  
64 Bjorn Selander (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 14:08:00  
65 Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale 14:09:00  
66 Benjamin Day (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 14:10:00  
67 Oscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development 14:11:00  
68 Caleb Fairly (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 14:12:00  
69 Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development 14:13:00  
70 Daniel Eaton (USA) Bissell Development Team 14:14:00  
71 Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 14:15:00  
72 Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 14:16:00  
73 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Team Netapp-Endura 14:17:00  
74 Edward Beltran Suarez (Col) Tinkoff-Saxo 14:18:00  
75 Gregor Muhlberger (Aut) Team Netapp-Endura 14:19:00  
76 Hugh Carthy (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT 14:20:00  
77 Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Sportswear Development 14:21:00  
78 Richard Handley (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT 14:22:00  
79 Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 14:23:00  
80 Jose Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Team Netapp-Endura 14:24:00  
81 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 14:25:00  
82 Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 14:26:00  
83 Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling 14:27:00  
84 Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 14:28:00  
85 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Netapp-Endura 14:29:00  
86 Phillip Gaimon (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 14:30:00  
87 Javier Megias Leal (Esp) Team Novo Nordisk 14:31:00  
88 Tanner Putt (USA) Bissell Development Team 14:32:00  
89 Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 14:33:00  
90 Robbie Squire (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 14:34:00  
91 Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory Racing 14:35:00  
92 Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop 14:36:00  
93 David de la Cruz Melgarejo (Esp) Team Netapp-Endura 14:37:00  
94 Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team 14:38:00  
95 Chris Butler (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development 14:39:00  
96 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 14:40:00  
97 Benjamin King (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 14:41:00  
98 Michael Schär (Sui) BMC Racing Team 14:42:00  
99 Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Team Garmin-Sharp 14:44:00  
100 Daniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home 14:46:00  
101 Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Bissell Development Team 14:48:00  
102 Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 14:50:00  
103 Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 14:52:00  
104 Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing 14:54:00  
105 Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 14:56:00  
106 Clement Chevrier (Fra) Bissell Development Team 14:58:00  
107 Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo 15:00:00  
108 Alex Howes (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 15:02:00  
109 Julian Kyer (USA) Team SmartStop 15:04:00  
110 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 15:06:00  
111 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp-Endura 15:08:00  
112 Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 15:10:00  
113 Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development 15:12:00  
114 Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing 15:14:00  
115 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 15:16:00  
116 Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 15:18:00  
117 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 15:20:00  
118 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 15:22:00  

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