USA Pro Challenge 2015

August 17-23, 2015, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Road - 2.HC

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Laura Weislo

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 2 of the USA Pro Challenge.

  1. 10:54:02 MDT

    We're back again for the USA Pro Challenge, stage 2 is a big one from Steamboat Springs to the uphill finish to Arapahoe Basin.

  2. 10:56:11 MDT

    Riders have just 2.1km of neutral today, then it's game on for the 185.5km stage that has three big climbs - the Rabbit Ears Pass cat 2 climb comes at km 18.7, so it's pretty much straight up from the gun.

  3. 10:57:05 MDT

    The peloton is being led to the start line by a horse in Steamboat Springs. There are lots of spectators waiting to see who will get the quicker start...

  4. 10:58:01 MDT

    The horse doesn't get to race the cyclists- they just roll off the line to head out for their neutral lap.

  5. 10:59:59 MDT

    Race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC) added an incredible exclamation point to his comeback yesterday by winning the stage, but we don't think he'll be contending for victory again today.

    You can relive yesterday's stage with the recap video here.

  6. 11:00:19 MDT

    The race is on, and off they go!

  7. 11:01:56 MDT

    In addition to Rabbit Ears Pass, they have two more big climbs today - Ute Pass (Cat 3) comes at 50km to go, and then of course the category 1 finishing climb to Arapahoe Basin, which is 7.9km long.

  8. 11:02:44 MDT

    The first few kilometers are flat, and the field is going flat out as they head toward the Rabbit Ears Pass climb. 10 riders get a slight lead.

  9. 11:05:45 MDT

    The first climb is 11.5km in length. KOM leader Jonny Clarke spoke to Cyclingnews this morning. 

    "There is a good 8k of lap before [Rabbit Ears] so it could either go right off the line and the breakaway will be controlled on Rabbit Ears, or it will be doomsday up there," he said.

    Whether he would keep the jersey or not remains to be seen, he said, "we have other guys, Kiel is in the sprint jersey and he was wants to be the in a break to take he sprint points and also Danny Summerhill wants to go for the KOM, so there are three of us going for it but yeah I'd like to be in it."

    Clots of fans dot the country road heading out of town, showing their support for the racers.

  10. 11:07:56 MDT

    And Summerhill is in the 10 rider move that seems to be the one!

    Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Garmin), Kyle Murphy (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Daniel Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare), Benjamin Dilley (Team Novo Nordisk), Will Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing Team), Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop), Carson Miller (Jamis - Hagens Berman), Steve Fisher (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), and Daniel Barry (Team Budget Forklifts) have 1:10, with Gregory Brenes (Jamis - Hagens Berman) trying to bridge.

  11. 180km remaining from 186km

    11:09:05 MDT

    Unfortunately for Dilley, the climb is proving to be too much too soon, and he's distanced from the others.

  12. 11:10:45 MDT

    Brown has an issue and signals for neutral support to come up.

    Brenes is behind the break at 30 seconds, with Dilley halfway between the leaders and Brenes.

  13. 178.8km remaining from 186km

    11:11:41 MDT

    • Climb

    The leaders are heading up the Rabbit Ears Pass now, with 2:25 on the peloton.

  14. 11:13:10 MDT

    Most of the riders in the breakaway were split out in the second or third pelotons yesterday, only Summerhill made the front group, so he's our virtual leader on the road.

  15. 11:15:50 MDT

    The nine leaders are looking smooth going up the climb, Brenes is closing on them while Dilley has vanished.

  16. 11:16:27 MDT

    Brenes is working his way through the team cars, which were called into the gap between the breakaway and the peloton. He's just about there. 

  17. 175km remaining from 186km

    11:18:35 MDT

    The Rabbit Ears Pass isn't particularly steep, but it's a steady grind. The air is dry and the sun is beating down on the leaders - not a lick of shade anywhere. Brenes jumps from car to car, but it's not an easy effort. Going uphill he has to sprint full out every few minutes. He'll make it soon enough.

  18. 11:19:44 MDT

    It's a wide open road, but luckily there's not much wind on this side of the pass. They can begin to see the view of the valley below, and it's definitely starting to feel like altitude.

  19. 175km remaining from 186km

    11:21:06 MDT

    • Break

    Brenes finally makes the bridge after one last sprint. The gap has grown to 2:50.

    The break again is: Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Garmin), Kyle Murphy (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Daniel Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare),  Will Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Racing Team), Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop), Carson Miller and Gregory Brenes (Jamis - Hagens Berman), Steve Fisher (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), and Daniel Barry (Team Budget Forklifts).

  20. 173km remaining from 186km

    11:27:00 MDT

    BMC controls the pace at the front of the peloton, heading into Routt National Forest. The leaders are about halfway up the climb.

    Once they're over the top, they'll have a long descent down to Kremmling for the first sprint.

    The climb is starting to bite, and more riders are having to get out of the saddle.

  21. 11:30:43 MDT

    Once again the blight of doping has sullied the sport of cycling. This time it's Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) who tested positive for EPO in a reanalysis of an out-of-competition test from March 27, "based on new scientific developments", the UCI says. 

    Check for the details shortly.


  22. 172km remaining from 186km

    11:33:54 MDT

    Just under 5km to the KOM for our 10 leaders, who still hold 2:40 on the peloton containing race leader Taylor Phinney.

    Phinney also holds the sprint classification jersey, Jonny Clarke (UHC) is in the mountains jersey, Logan Owen (Axeon) is best young rider, while Guillaume Boivin (Optum) is in a well-deserved most aggressive rider's jersey.


  23. 11:38:21 MDT

    The second doping positive for Katusha, an MPCC team, should mean they are suspended for the month, like the Androni team. That would put them out of the Vuelta a España, where Caruso was due to race with Joaquim Rodriguez.


  24. 168km remaining from 186km

    11:42:30 MDT

    We have some action from the peloton - Gregory Daniel (Axeon) and Antonio Molina (Caja Rural) have set off on the climb to bridge to the breakaway. They managed to just make it by the top, so there are now 12 riders in the lead.


  25. 11:46:01 MDT

    We have another abandon - Corentin Cherhal (Novo Nordisk) dropped out. The team already lost Nicolas Lefrancois yesterday. Guy Sagiv (Cycling Academy) and Josh Berry (Axeon) also dropped out yesterday, while Keegan Swirbul didn't start the race.


  26. 11:51:22 MDT

    • Climb

    Molina's effort to bridge is hurting now, and he's struggling to keep hold of the break as they head over the Rabbit Ears Pass.

    KOM sprint went to Routley, who denied Summerhill the maximum points.

    KOM 1 results:
    1. Will Routley (Can) Optum
    2. Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare
    3. Kyle Murphy (USA) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
    4. Carson Miller (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman
    5. Gregory Brenes (CRc) Jamis - Hagens Berman
    6. Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin 
    7. Daniel Barry (NZl) Team Budget Forklifts


  27. 11:52:20 MDT

    The leaders still have 100 miles to go, so it's a long day in the saddle that has started fast and furious. The peloton has closed in to 1:30 now, and the descent will help them easily hold that gap.


  28. 11:56:44 MDT

    There is no immediate respite for the leaders as they crest the KOM, the road rolls along the ridge over 9000ft in altitude for about 12km before starting the gradual descent.


  29. 12:01:17 MDT

    The riders are enjoying a cool moment on the top of the pass, it's only in the 50's F and dropping. We're reading that four riders tried to bridge - BMC's Schär, Kreuziger (Tinkoff), Didier (Trek) and Turek (Cycling Academy), but they were caught back.


  30. 12:02:31 MDT

    Correction - regarding Caruso, his positive will not keep Katusha from the Vuelta a España, because the MPCC rules now exclude the Grand Tours from self suspension. Additionally, the sample of Caruso's that was retested dates back to 2012, so that also excludes self-suspension.


  31. 12:04:55 MDT

    However, new UCI rules could still hurt Katusha - the UCI rules state that two doping case notifications in one year mean the team will be suspended for a period of time to be determined by the UCI. Unlike the case of Androni earlier this year, the UCI press release did not state that it was considering the period of suspension.


  32. 12:08:17 MDT

    There's an attack in the breakaway - looks like Marcotte isn't happy with the effort on the descent - he's going 94km/h!


  33. 12:09:55 MDT

    • Break

    Marcotte's move didn't work, but the breakaway has regained their previous losses and is back to 2:50 on the bunch.

    Our leaders are once again: Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Garmin), Kyle Murphy and Antonio Molina (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Daniel Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare), Will Routley (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Robin Carpenter (Hincapie), Eric Marcotte (Team SmartStop), Carson Miller and Gregory Brenes (Jamis - Hagens Berman), Steve Fisher (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis), Daniel Barry (Team Budget Forklifts), and Gregory Daniel (Axeon)


  34. 142km remaining from 186km

    12:14:36 MDT

    Carson Miller is our only repeat escapee from the first stage. His six points on Rabbit Ears Pass is enough to put him tied with Summerhill in third in the mountains classification. Routley now leads that standing with 10 points.

    The gap is out to four minutes now.


  35. 12:18:43 MDT

    The UCI also today posted the final Continental Tour classifications that will determine the number of riders each country will get for the elite men's road race at the World Championships in Richmond, Virginia. 

    Thanks to the Tour of Utah, the USA snuck into fifth in the America Tour, so it meets the qualification to have six riders in the men's road race. Although Joe Dombrowski won Utah, as a WorldTour rider his points don't count toward that ranking. It was thanks to riders like Optum's Eric Young, Kiel Reijnen (UHC) and Logan Owen (Axeon) that they leapt over Brazil.


  36. 131km remaining from 186km

    12:22:01 MDT

    The leaders are flat out as the descent levels off. Gap is out to 5:10.


  37. 12:30:19 MDT

    The wind is picking up, giving both peloton and leaders a tail or cross-tailwind. The gap is at 4:20 to the peloton.

    There's another fun bit to today's stage - the road turns to dirt for about 22km - from km 107.6 to 129.4 on the way to Ute Pass. Some of it climbs, some descends rather rapidly. Should be fun for Summerhill, who excels at cyclo-cross.


  38. 122km remaining from 186km

    12:35:39 MDT

    The long grind through Grand County is hurting the leaders, who have lost another minute off their gap. It's 3:10 now, with 15km or so until the sprint.


  39. 12:43:35 MDT

    SmartStop is looking to perform here in Colorado. They brought in a new sponsor for the year, Cylance, and have a new look with green in place of the blue and yellow. 

    Rob Britton is their man for the GC. He told Cyclingnews this morning: "Yesterday I was just trying to stay out of trouble and save the energy and save the legs. Obviously today is an extremely important day, so hopefully that worked out well. I'm an opportunist so we will see how things are shaping up in the last 10k or so. I think that is where you will see guys start to pop off."


  40. 12:46:41 MDT

    The riders are now being buffeted by crosswinds and it has hurt their gap.

    Guillauime Boivin, the race's most aggressive rider after yesterday's romp, says the team is now on the hunt for stage wins after Phil Gaimon lost 4:22 on the opening stage. "We are going to keep racing aggressive. The guys showed last week in Utah that we can battle for the win so we will keep going in that same vein," he said.


  41. 111km remaining from 186km

    12:47:48 MDT

    The leaders are inside 5km to go to the sprint.


  42. 106km remaining from 186km

    12:52:42 MDT

    • Break

    The leaders are through the sprint in Kremmling.

    Sprint 1 results:
    1. Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
    2. Daniel Barry (NZl) Team Budget Forklifts
    3. Antonio Molina (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA


  43. 12:54:42 MDT

    The tiny town of Kremmling only has a population of 1500 but it seemed half of them were out to see the race. Nice crowds.


  44. 12:58:02 MDT

    In Kremmling the Blue River and Muddy Creek join the headwaters of the Colorado River, and the race is heading out along the Colorado. 

    It looks like Spaghetti Western country here, a man on a horse with a rope sits still, watching the race go by.


  45. 94km remaining from 186km

    13:06:32 MDT

    The leaders are through the feed zone, the gap holding steady at 3:30.


  46. 13:12:32 MDT

    Race radio is reporting that BMC's Damiano Caruso and Tinkoff's Eduard Beltran crashed in the feed zone, but both riders are up and going again.

  47. 13:17:23 MDT

    It seems the climbing and altitude have claimed another rider as Antonio Sampedro Angulo of the Cycling Academy Team has abandoned the race.


  48. 13:23:40 MDT

    Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly) put in an aggressive ride on the last climb in the race's opening stage. He is familiar with today's final climb.

    Cyclingnews spoke to Morton this morning: "I think it's going to be the first real sort out of the GC, he said. "I'm looking forward to it and interested to see how it goes. I know the finish really well, I've been training up there for the last month. It's no super steep or super long but it's pretty high so I think it's going to be enough to sort of split it up."

  49. 13:24:52 MDT

    In just a few kilometers, the pavement will end and riders will be on the dirt for 22km of fun and games!


  50. 13:28:49 MDT

    The leaders are heading back up from about 7500ft climbing to 9570ft by the time they crest Ute Pass. It's a pretty gradual climb, thankfully, but there are some steep pitches along the way. 

    In the break, Fisher has a mechanical and needs support from his team mechanic.


  51. 74km remaining from 186km

    13:38:57 MDT

    The peloton is now 2:25 behind the break as the leaders tackle the dirt roads, but soon enough the bunch will be slowed down by the hard pack dirt and gravel, too.


  52. 13:40:26 MDT

    We've put together some provisional Worlds allocation numbers for the elite men's road race, thanks to our long-time friend Tomas Nilsson. The UCI should be announcing these soon.

    Seems Benjamin Dilley, who started in the break today, has abandoned.


  53. 13:49:49 MDT

    The leaders are cruising along the dirt, surely Summerhill is enjoying himself more than the others. Some cars are being pulled out between the break and field, but the gap is still 2:45. Often officials will clear out unnecessary cars like VIP or media from the gap before a tricky descent, so we might have a fun one ahead.

    Hector Saez (Caja Rural) has joined Dilley in abandoning the race. The altitude is really taking its toll.

    The finish will be even harder, going up over 10,000ft.

  54. 13:52:07 MDT

    The dirt and gravel is starting to take its toll. There are numerous calls for service.


  55. 66km remaining from 186km

    13:54:44 MDT

    Riders may be on dirt, but it's a wide open road through the valley, and they're being helped along by a tailwind. The gap to the leaders is holding steady at 2:20 at the moment. 


  56. 13:55:01 MDT

    Still another 9km of dirt ahead.


  57. 14:00:02 MDT

    Interested in the race and want to discuss it with your fellow Cyclingnews readers? Join the USA Pro Challenge discussion on our forum here.


  58. 14:03:43 MDT

    The extremely high altitude at today's finish can be pretty dangerous for those not used to the thin air. The race tech guide warns of Acute Mountain Sickness - headache, nausea, vomiting, as well as High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, a very dangerous altitude sickness that feels like pneumonia but can be fatal.

    Luckily the race has experienced physicians following the riders.


  59. 57km remaining from 186km

    14:05:38 MDT

    The leaders are just about to reach the end of the dirt road. Brenes is calling for his team car for refreshments. The peloton is one solid block, no urgency yet, just 2:11 behind.


  60. 14:06:43 MDT

    The dirt road is very smooth, it's packed down with a chemical treatment to keep it from getting too dusty, so it's no Paris-Roubaix. 


  61. 14:08:53 MDT

    Phew! The leaders jump off the dirt and back onto good, solid tarmac with 56km left to race.


  62. 14:10:35 MDT

    Daniel Barry i struggling at the back of the breakaway, which is leaving him behind on the start of the climb to Ute Pass. He wont' be the only one left behind - a Caja Rural rider is dropping off, too. 5km to go to the KOM.


  63. 14:11:41 MDT

    Barry is well and truly dropped, and it's not a Caja Rural, it's Marcotte - we were thrown off by the green. He's back in the cars behind the breakaway and dropping anchor.


  64. 14:12:22 MDT

    A third rider is losing contact, too.


  65. 14:13:18 MDT

    There is still no concerted effort in the field as BMC, Trek, Cannondale and Tinkoff-Saxo patrol the front. 1:45 to the leaders.


  66. 14:14:04 MDT

    The third rider being left by the breakaway is Fisher.


  67. 51.8km remaining from 186km

    14:16:06 MDT

    And Brenes is the next rider to throw in the towel, still with more than 1km to go to the top. His teammate Miller is still holding onto the back of the lead group as Brown pushes the pace.


  68. 14:17:49 MDT

    A descent for the peloton has finally lined out the chase, with BMC at the front for Taylor Phinney, as well as Bookwalter and Rohan Dennis. They're just keeping them at a reasonable advantage - 2:50.


  69. 14:21:39 MDT

    Routley launches a big attack for the KOM points, keeping that jersey in the team. He gets it ahead of Summerhill then considers pushing on alone.


  70. 14:22:49 MDT

    Summerhill brings the rest of the breakaway back to Routley, with Brown in there. He's Cannondale's GC man, after Italian Davide Formolo struggled with the altitude.


  71. 47.2km remaining from 186km

    14:24:44 MDT

    Routley now leads the mountains classification with 18 points. Summerhill will be in second with 16. 

    Looks like the peloton are giving the break some more leash, the gap is out to three minutes even with 47km to go.


  72. 14:26:42 MDT

    The breakaway is on a very quick section of the descent from Ute Pass, streaming along with the view of a big, big mountain ahead. Summerhill is splitting the break with his descending prowess.


  73. 14:28:10 MDT

    Brenes managed to make it back in the breakaway. Heis in a full aero tuck, sitting on his top tube and is still losing ground, he just doesn't weigh enough to keep up. Miller bridges back to his teammate after being distanced.


  74. 14:30:03 MDT

    • Climb

    KOM 2 results:

    1. Will Routley (Optum)
    2. Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare)
    3. Kyle Murphy (Caja Rural)
    4. Carson Miller (Jamis)
    5. Nate Brown (Cannondale-Garmin)

    The leaders are off the descent and Carpenter is leading them along the long, straight road.


  75. 14:32:23 MDT

    The breakaway has settled on 9 riders, now 3:02 in front of the BMC-led field. Fisher has been caught by the break, but Marcotte is reportedly still in no-man's land.


  76. 14:33:49 MDT

    Marcotte is in front of the field just waiting to be swept up. It's another perfect Colorado day, but clouds are beginning to build.

    Summerhill is having a shoe issue - he took his shoe off and either got a new one or took out a rock. Perhaps one got kicked up in there on the dirt road. Quite a bit of skill to do that while hammering at 24mph.


  77. 37km remaining from 186km

    14:35:26 MDT

    The peloton is now showing evidence of a cross-headwind, which might make the race a bit interesting. The front of the chase is being helped along by a race vehicle which is blocking the wind.


  78. 14:36:58 MDT

    Up in the breakaway, the cooperation is starting to fall apart. Brown looks around for anyone to pull through but Molina takes his time coming around. Once he does, they start rolling again.

    Gap is down to 2:56 with 35km to go.


  79. 14:40:02 MDT

    BMC is starting to line out the peloton with Killian Frankiny setting the pace. The Swiss rider is doing an internship with the team. They need to start picking it up, the gap is 2:31 and there's some discussion amongst the BMC riders.

    Up ahead the breakaway is once again fracturing.


  80. 34km remaining from 186km

    14:41:06 MDT

    The race left the Colorado River behind for Ute Pass, and have picked up the Blue River, they'll parallel it all the way to the next sprint in Dillon.


  81. 14:41:58 MDT

    The sprint comes with 18.9km to go, so they have a bit of riding to do. Carpenter is trying to get the pace going in the breakaway, but some of the riders are taking sluggish pulls.


  82. 32km remaining from 186km

    14:42:49 MDT

    The lack of cooperation up front combined with more energy in the chase behind has brought the gap down to 2 minutes.


  83. 14:44:59 MDT

    BMC is doing all of the work in the chase, but don't discount the little Trek rider tucked in back there. Julian Arredondo is an excellent climber, he's fine with altitude, being from Colombia, and he put in a very impressive sprint yesterday so he's feeling feisty.


  84. 14:45:43 MDT

    Danny Summerhill pulls out the race itinerary to see where the sprint is, perhaps. Once again, showing his bike handling and multi-tasking skills.


  85. 14:49:06 MDT

    Other riders to look out for are Chris Anker Sörensen (Tinkoff-Saxo), Daniel Jaramillo (Jamis), and of course the BMC riders Bookwalter and Dennis. UHC's Janez Brajkovic looked strong yesterday, but how is his climbing?


  86. 25km remaining from 186km

    14:52:40 MDT

    The breakaway has stopped mucking around and are now working together, building their lead back to 2:31. They will need a lot more than that on the climb to Arapahoe Basin.

    Lots of fans cheer them on at the 25km to go sign.


  87. 14:54:05 MDT

    After hours spent in the middle of nowhere, the riders are now enjoying the cheers of the crowds. Leaders see 5km to the sprint.


  88. 14:56:06 MDT

    The time board gives the breakaway its gap, 2:25, and this is important because there are no race radios for the riders in the peloton, as this is not a WorldTour event.


  89. 14:56:41 MDT

    Brown heads off in search of the sprint bonus, but Summerhill marks the move.


  90. 14:58:21 MDT

    There are no time bonuses either in the intermediate sprints or finish in the USA Pro Challenge, so there's only the cash prize on the sprint to fight over.


  91. 14:59:04 MDT

    We have to say that no prize could ever top the most aggressive rider award at the Arctic Race of Norway. Each stage a rider was given 500kg of frozen salmon! 

    Brown attacks again.


  92. 14:59:42 MDT

    Brown has a gap, and the Axeon rider Daniel is trying to pull him back.


  93. 15:00:22 MDT

    Brown doesn't necessarily want to go it alone to the finish, but he wants to jettison some of the dead weight in the breakaway.

    Daniel has made it across.


  94. 19km remaining from 186km

    15:00:54 MDT

    The leaders have 1km to go to the sprint now and it's a grind up to the line.


  95. 15:02:47 MDT

    BMC is back at the head of the chase, 2:12 behind the two leaders. 

    Brown needs to get 4:22 back after being dropped in yesterday's stage. The sprint he takes won't help without the time bonus - he goes over first ahead of Daniel. The chase of the rest of the break is 20 seconds back, with Carson Miller even further behind.


  96. 15:05:19 MDT

    The Cannondale car comes with a late bottle for Brown - they're inside the final 20km, so surely the officials extended the feed from the cars. Daniel is calling for his car, too.


  97. 16km remaining from 186km

    15:06:44 MDT

    They have about 8km of flat to rolling roads before the climb officially begins, then they will ascend about 1600ft to 10789ft in elevation! Nosebleed anyone?


  98. 15:07:37 MDT

    They're on a very fast schedule today, averaging around 25mph.


  99. 15:09:06 MDT

    Brown and Daniel chose wisely, they've pulled out a 2:40 lead on the bunch, while their chasers are falling further behind, almost a minute back.


  100. 15:10:19 MDT

    Brenes is being caught by the peloton which is led by Hincapie now that Carpenter is out of the lead. BMC isn't ready to concede yet, so they come up to drag race them.


  101. 11km remaining from 186km

    15:12:54 MDT

    Sprint 2 results:

    1. Nate Brown (Cannondale-Garmin)
    2. Gregory Daniel (Axeon)
    3. Antonio Molina (Caja Rural)

    Just 11km to go and Drapac have come to the front of the peloton for its climber Kerby.


  102. 15:13:53 MDT

    Or Norris, rather. 1:20 to the chasers but we think that's inaccurate. They seem closer to being caught.

    Jelly Belly comes to help chase for Morton.


  103. 15:15:11 MDT

    The Cannondale car is giving advice to Brown - Charly Wegelius is directing the team in Colorado.

    Behind, Jelly Belly is giving BMC the armchair ride to the finish. They're about to hit the climb.


  104. 7.9km remaining from 186km

    15:16:24 MDT

    • Climb

    The climb officially begins at 7.9km to go! BMC has left it late. The gap is 2:27, the other chasers close to being caught dangling 30 seconds ahead of the peloton.


  105. 15:17:04 MDT

    The climb begins gradually, the road still wide open and smooth. It needs to be to funnel the thousands of skiers that come to Arapahoe Basin eight months out of the year to ski.

    Brown attacks!


  106. 15:18:05 MDT

    Daniel can't match the Cannondale rider, but he's not giving up. He's riding like Quintana chasing Froome, slowly ticking his way back up to Brown.


  107. 15:18:49 MDT

    Back in the field, Unitedhealthcare is pushing to the front, the gap at 2:06. Trek attacks, must be Didier?


  108. 15:19:59 MDT

    It's Calvin Watson actually, the move isn't threatening Phinney's yellow jersey but still...

    Greg Daniel can't make it up to Brown and he's starting to pedal squares.


  109. 5.5km remaining from 186km

    15:21:31 MDT

    Brown has 1:51 on the yellow jersey, but there are five riders chasing after Watson. 

    The climb averages 6% but at this altitude it feels like 20. Daniel has dropped anchor and Brown looks very strong. 5.5km to go.


  110. 15:22:27 MDT

    Watson is still pushing on and the peloton can see him, but haven't reached him. The four attackers have been caught. 

    The peloton is being reduced by this move but it hasn't shattered yet.


  111. 5km remaining from 186km

    15:24:05 MDT

    Brown sees the very encouraging 5km to go sign and he's alone on the road, Daniel falling further behind. Watson is just bait for the big fish, dangling in front of the peloton.


  112. 15:25:13 MDT

    There's an attack from Cannondale-Garmin in the field, Acevedo jumps past Watson.


  113. 4km remaining from 186km

    15:25:50 MDT

    There are no race radios in the teams, and the Cannondale car is still up the road, so maybe Acevedo isn't aware that his teammate is still ahead, going for the win. 

    Brown sees 4km to go.


  114. 15:27:08 MDT

    Phinney has lost contact from the field, and that's to be expected. He wasn't that kind of a climber even before his accident.



  115. 3.3km remaining from 186km

    15:28:02 MDT

    The chasing group is 1:21 behind Brown, while Phinney is losing time quickly, accompanied by a teammate and two Drapac riders.

    3km to go for Brown.


  116. 15:28:40 MDT

    Bookwalter is leading a chase group with a Hincapie rider, Cajra Rural, Smartstop (Britton) and Arredondo and a teammate. Acevedo's been caught.


  117. 2.5km remaining from 186km

    15:30:49 MDT

    Brown has 1:11 with 2.5km to go, and the BMC-led chase is still pretty big. We think Reijnen and Clarke are still in there, and best young rider Owen, too.


  118. 2km remaining from 186km

    15:31:25 MDT

    Just 56 seconds to the chase now, and Daniel in no-man's land. 2km to go for Brown, can he do this?


  119. 15:32:40 MDT

    Arredondo pops out to have a look up the road, but he's not making any moves. Two Caja Rural riders are in there with Dennis leading. Looks like Squire from Hincapie in there.

    Just six chasers behind the two early escapees up front.


  120. 15:33:58 MDT

    Brown is looking very good, he's got 30 seconds but it's coming down. He sees 1km to go.


  121. 15:34:43 MDT

    Rohan Dennis is the man responsible for the gap falling quickly, it's 15 seconds, with Squire on the wheel. 


  122. 15:35:12 MDT

    Oh dear oh dear, just 500m to go but it might as well be 10 miles as Dennis brings the chase past Brown.


  123. 15:35:39 MDT

    One of the Caja Rural riders has been dropped, but Dennis, Bookwalter, Jonny Clarke and Squire are in there with the other.


  124. 15:36:25 MDT

    It's Hugh Carthy from Caja Rural, the British climber is tacked on the back as Dennis winds it up.


  125. 15:36:43 MDT

    Bookwalter jumps and Dennis is on his wheel with a gap to the rest.


  126. 15:37:44 MDT

    Bookwalter storms away to a very well deserved stage win, looking incredibly strong. Dennis rolls in second, with Morton getting in ahead of the Caja Rural rider. Arredondo follows.


  127. 15:38:00 MDT

    Those last 200m were very fast.


  128. 15:39:35 MDT

    Bookwalter will be the new race leader thanks to that effort.

    Phinney is still on the road but he won't be too sad to see the yellow jersey past to his teammate. 

    This result has to be a big boon to Bookwalter's chances to be on the USA team for Worlds


  129. 15:41:27 MDT

    Riders are heading back down to the team buses as Phinney comes to the line - the fans giving him an enthusiastic round of applause.


  130. 15:43:02 MDT

    Carthy is third, Clarke fourth, Squire fifth on the stage at 13". Morton, Roson (Caja Rural), Formolo, Arredondo and Brenard, the Trek trainee round out the top 10.


  131. 15:46:35 MDT

    Stage results:

    1 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
    2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
    3 Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
    4 Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
    5 Rob Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team
    6 Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis
    7 Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
    8 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
    9 Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing
    10 Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek Factory Racing


  132. 15:50:44 MDT

    General classification after stage 2 

    1 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 8:16:10
    2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:06
    3 Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:10
    4 Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:00:10
    5 Rob Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team 0:00:13
    6 Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 0:00:25
    7 Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:27
    8 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:31
    9 Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:33
    10 Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:38


  133. 15:52:11 MDT

    Guillaume Boivin is cruising in many minutes down in the orange jersey of most aggressive rider. 

    Phinney will be in green tomorrow, Routley in the red mountains jersey, Carthy blue as best young rider.

    No word quite yet on the most aggressive.


  134. 15:53:54 MDT

    In case you missed it, we've calculated the Worlds allocations and are sure USA gets six riders for the men's road race.

    What we didn't mention is the junior men get their max of six, women get their max of 7, junior women get four and U23 5. 


  135. 15:56:47 MDT

    Bookwalter gets an extra bonus in the form of a pair of skis.

    And with that, we'll bid you all adieu until tomorrow. The race on stage 3 heads from Copper Mtn resort to Aspen, over Independence Pass up to 12,000ft. 

    Thanks for reading!


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