The organisers of the USA Pro Challenge have released a provisional roster for the 2014 event, which begins in Aspen on August 18, and ends in Denver August 24. Defending champion Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) is keen to repeat his victory, but will be up against a strong field that includes double Tour de France stage winner Michael Rogers and mountains classification winner Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), as well as former Tour de France podium finisher Fränk Schleck and double Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso.
Van Garderen, who resides in Aspen, said he is looking forward to the race, "Because it starts in my hometown, it’s different and more relaxed. To race in front of my family and friends is always special. We are bringing a really motivated team and with a summit finish this year, it promises to be another hard race."
NetApp-Endura will be bringing Tour de France top-10 finisher Leopold König, and Garmin-Sharp will be fielding a strong team in an attempt to recapture overall victory in the race, which they won with Christian Vande Velde in 2012. Tom Danielson and Janier Acevedo are the team's top climbers in the race this year.
"I’m super excited to be coming back to race the USA Pro Challenge with my Garmin-Sharp teammates," said Danielson. "Personally, it’s the one event every year I really look forward to because of the huge and crazy crowds and the general vibe of the race. It’s like no other race. Plus, our team is headquartered in Denver, so we have extra motivation."
The race will also be the last hurrah for Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing), who has announced he will make the farewell special by geocaching gift bags along the route for fans who share in his pasttime.
"I chose the Pro Challenge as my final race because of the fans," said Voigt. "All the fans in Colorado love outdoor activities, so they are all experts…they know exactly how hard it is to go up those crazy-long climbs. It’s a beautiful state and I just always love the warm welcome and the support I get from the fans."
The provisional rosters can be found here.