Christian Vande Velde has added another feather to his cap during an excellent season by topping the USA Cycling Professional Tour standings. After winning the Tour of Missouri overall title last weekend, the Garmin-Chipotle rider finished the 14-event series with 272 points. It was enough to better defending champion Levi Leipheimer, who amassed 244 points.
And in a result that reflected Vande Velde's breakthrough year as a leading rider, Garmin-Chipotle won the season-long competition in the teams category, with a total of 711 points. Jonathan Vaughters' outfit beat the force of Team Columbia by 198 points.
The USA Cycling Professional Tour consists of 14 events – UCI-sanctioned events in the US and USA Cycling's three professional road championships. After finishing third overall at the Tour of California, the 32-year-old Illinois native shot to prominence with a fifth place overall at the Tour de France, a top-20 in the Olympic road race and third at the USA Cycling National TT Championships. His Missouri title was enough to take the crown ahead of Leipheimer to be arguably his country's best rider in 2008.
Canadian Dominique Rollin finished an excellent season with third in the standings while Germany's Eric Baumann and Team Columbia's young Belarusian Kanstantin Sivtsov rounded out the top five.
For complete final standings visit USA Cycling's website (www.usacycling.org).