Very few sprinters were included in the rosters of the 17 teams taking part in the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge, but one of those who's competing in the seven-day stage race in the mountains of Colorado is Dutchman Kenny van Hummel of the Skil-Shimano squad.
While the first four stages are hardly suited to the 28-year-old Dutchman's strengths, Van Hummel told Cyclingnews that he considers stage four from Avon to Steamboat Springs as well as the final stage from Golden to Denver as the days most likely to finish in a field sprint.
Van Hummel famously struggled to beat the time cuts in the mountain stages of the 2009 Tour de France, but the Skil-Shimano rider has survived the two road stages thus far in Colorado with the goal of preserving as much strength as possible.
While sprint rivals Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare) and Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) have each figured in the intermediate sprints in stages 1 and 2, Van Hummel is waiting for the chance to unleash his sprint in pursuit of stage victory in the days to come.
In his first ever race in the United States, Van Hummel told Cyclingnews that since he's moving to a ProTour squad in 2012 and will likely contest Grand Tours yet again, he chose to race in the mountainous USA Pro Cycling Challenge in order to improve his climbing ability.