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USA Pro Challenge 2013: Stage 7


Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of Stage 7 at the USA Pro Challenge. The finale will showcase a fast circuit race through the streets of Denver, Colorado.

The riders are rolling to the start line of the final stage of the USA Pro Challenge held in Denver this afternoon. After a neutral zone, the race will officially start at City Park.

The peloton will complete seven laps of a 15 km circuit through downtown Denver, passing LoDo, City Park and Civic Center Park. The race totals 117 km and it should be a very quick and exciting finale on a flat and fast circuit.


The course is in the heart of Denver and the start-finish line is at the Capitol buildings. The crowds are off the hook today, as expected. 


Tom Danielson just rolled to the start line.


This looks like another good race for Cannondale’s Peter Sagan, who has already won three stages during the USA Pro Challenge this week. He sprinted to the victory in stage 1 in Aspen, stage 3 in Steamboat Springs and stage 6 in Ft. Collins yesterday.


There are three intermediate sprints on course today located on laps 6 to go, 4 to go and 2 to go.


The course has a criterium feel to it. There are two long out and back sections. The riders will race out 17th Ave., circle City Park and head back down 17th Ave.


And they're off!


Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Leopard) had something to say about how to beat Peter Sagan today, although he wasn't too optimistic. He told Cyclingnews' Pat Malach that,


"There are not a lot of things we can do. With all the most sophisticated plans you still have to have the legs in the end. Peter seems to be on a different level here. If there's nothing unforeseen that happens, he might get 4 out of 7 stages -- which is food for him and a shame for us."


Ben King (Radio Shack), Christohper Juul Jensen (Saxo-Tinkoff), David Riba (Novo Nordisk) and Carson Miller (Jamis) are on the move.


They have about 20 seconds on the main field.


This course is not as easy as it looks on paper! There's very rough city pavement, lots of sharp turns and roundabouts. The riders are going to have to pay close attention during ever second of this race today.


There are three chasers, Chun Kai Feng (Champion System), Lucas Euser (UnitedHealthcare) and Tyler Wren (Jamis).


The two lead groups have united and there is now a seven-man breakaway with a 1:30-minute gap.


The breakaway rider are:

Ben King (RadioShack)

Christohper Juul Jensen (Saxo-Tinkoff)

Chun Kai Feng (Champion System)

David Riba (Novo Nordisk)

Lucas Euser (UnitedHealthcare)

Tyler Wren (Jamis)

Carson Miller (Jamis)


The entire lap has fans lining the streets to watch the race today. It's almost impossible to hear through the huge crowds near the Capitol buildings at the start-finish line.


The breakaway is approaching the end of the first lap. There is only one turn in the last kilometre, it's a left-hand turn with 280 metres to go. 


Sky's Chris Froome has stopped racing and has pulled over to the side of the street on course.


UnitedHealthcare's Jeff Louder spoke with Cyclingnews' Peter Hymas this morning. Here is what he had to say,


"I have a diesel so it will take a bit to warm up and I won't know how I'm feeling until the race starts. It's nice being at lower altitude. It's all for [Alessandro] Bazzana today."



Tour de France winner Chris Froome has officially abandoned the race. This course is probably his worst nightmare.


The breakaway is working well together. The riders are holding a 50-second gap. 


Peter Sagan's Cannondale teammates are keeping that time gap in check.


We are partway through the second lap along the Larimer St sector where there are heavy crowds. There are also lights and small flags strung across the roads above the racers, about two stories up.


The breakaway has increased the gap to a minute.


US road champion, Freddy Rodriguez (Jelly Belly) has a thing or two to say about beating Peter Sagan today.


"You have to anticipate him and he has to make a mistake here and there. I've done it in the past. I beat [Alessandro] Petacchi in the Giro, after he basically won five in a row, and everyone thought he was unbeatable. But I knew that being in the right place at the right time means that it's possible to make it happen."


The race is starting the third lap.


The main field is now starting the third lap, 1:20 minutes behind the seven-man breakaway.


82km remaining from 116km

The breakaway is heading along 17th Ave. toward City Park. They're passing the Denver Zoo on the right as they roll through the park.


The main field is 1:05 minutes behind


It's a hot day today, 95 Fahrenheit. It might feel even hotter out on the pavement for the racers.


Mick Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) was in a good mood this morning as he stepped onto the stage to sign into the race. He reached out and gave the finish line bell a big ring!


Under 23 US road champion Tanner Putt, who races for the Bontrager team, said this is an emotional race. He told Cyclingnews' Peter Hymas this morning that,


"This is the last race together for a bunch of us.  It's emotional because we've raced together and lived together all season."


75km remaining from 116km

The breakaway is pushing the pace on course. Euser is the highest placed rider in the overall, 4:55 minutes behind race leader Tejay van Garderen (BMC).


Saxo-Tinkoff's Timmy Duggan says that the whole peloton will have to do something different in order to win the stage today. He said they can't let Cannondale drag the peloton around and then expect to beat Peter Sagan in a sprint. "I expect a really aggressive race. We aren't just going to hand it to Cannondale"


The breakaway is starting the fourth lap and holding a one-minute gap ahead of the main field.


Bissell is starting to contribute to the chase.


Cannondale is still leading the peloton with Argos-Shimano and BMC tucked in behind.


These three teams have arguably the fastest sprinters with Peter Sagan on Cannondale, Luka Mazgec on Argos-Shimano and Greg van Avermaet on BMC.


63km remaining from 116km

But there are several other strong sprinters in the field with Edwin Avilla (Colombia), who finished 4th yesterday and was the 2011 points race world champion.


UnitedHealthcare's Alessandro Bazzana is quick, Andrea Peron (Novo Nordisk), Fred Rodriguez (Jelly Belly), and others.


The breakaway is rolling very well together around the circuit. The riders are holding 1:10-minute gap.


Some of the riders might be pleased that there are no king of the mountain ascents on course today. Matt Cooke (Jamis-Hagens Berman) wrapped up that competition. All he needs to do is finish today’s stage to officially win it.


The breakaway just rolled through to start the fifth lap.


We are halfway through the final stage at the USA Pro Challenge. The crowds are getting bigger as the race progresses.


Bissell, BMC and Cannondale are doing the bulk of the work at the front of the main field.


52km remaining from 116km

Breakaway rider Tyler Wren (Jamis Hagens-Berman) is taking some water from the team car. He grew up in Pennsylvania and spent some time in Utah. He now resides in upstate New York where he recently purchased a Bed and Breakfast home, perhaps a post-racing career in the future.


Cannondale is still chasing with help from Argos-Shimano and Colombia.


The average speed so far has been 47.2 km/h.


The breakaway is approaching the end of the fifth lap. They will have three laps to go.


The races is running about two minutes faster than the fastest estimated time of arrival to the finish line.


And it's going to keep getting faster during the last few laps.


41km remaining from 116km

Peter Sagan is looking very relaxed in the field right now.


Sky's Richie Porte is working is way back up to the main field through the caravan.


Cannondale is driving the pace of the peloton around the circuit. The field is single file as they approach two laps to go.


The breakaway is losing time as they approach two laps to go. The gap has dropped to 35 seconds.


Miller is attacking the breakaway.


Lucas Euser is now attacking and he is alone in front starting two laps to go.


Feng is trying to bridge across to Euser.


Euser is still alone and gaining time.


There is one BMC rider pulling the main field followed by the Cannondale team and several Colombia riders.


Euser is still alone, he has dropped his previous breakaway companions. He is holding a six-second gap.


Euser is leading the race with less than two laps to go. The rest of the original breakaway has exploded and they are riding in ones and twos ahead of the main field.


Miller and King have caught back up to Euser and the three riders are holding 30 seconds on the main field.



One BMC rider is pulling the main field followed by the Cannondale squad.


Euser, Miller and King are desperately trying to hold onto their small lead.


Cannondale is now dominating the front of the main field. They're looking very organized coming into the final lap. 


Euser, Miller and King are losing time and the gap is down to 15 seconds.


Lucas Euser, Carson Miller and Ben King are about to get caught by the main field.




There was a crash at the back of the main field.


Saxo-Tinkoff's Jensen and Sky's Edmondson are the two who crashed at the back of the main field.


Jensen is getting back on his bike and he is determined to finish this race today.


1 lap to go!


Garmin-Sharp's Christian Vande Velde is leading the race through the bell lap.


Vande Velde is leading the way as the peloton begins the last lap of the race. Cannondale is lined up behind him with its sprinter Peter Sagan comfortably tucked in behind.


UnitedHealthcare is now leading the race and organizing their team at the front of the field. They have sprinter Alessandro Bazzana for the finale.


Jelly Belly is sending rider to the front. 


Jelly Belly has US national champion Freddy Rodriguez for the sprint today.


This is the last chance for the other sprinters to steal a stage win from Cannondale's Peter Sagan.


Christian Vande Velde is back at the front of the field followed by the UnitedHealthcare team.


UnitedHealthcare is leading the field in single file through the last kilometres of the race.


There are only 4 km to go. UnitedHealthcare has two riders left at the front. Argos-Shimano is moving forward.


BMC's Tejay van Garderen is sitting near the front of the peloton with his teammates all around him. 


Teams are vying for position with Argos-Shimano, Cannondale and BMC looking the strongest.


1 km to go


Rodriguez is pushing is way to the front of the field


Peter Sagan wins the race!


And Tejay van Garderen (BMC) officially wins the USA Pro Challenge.


Ryan Anderson (Optum presented/by Kelly Benefit Strategies) takes second place on the stage today.


The unofficial top three in the stage:


1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
2 Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
3 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team


Unofficial top 10 in the stage:


1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
2 Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
3 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
4 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6 Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia
7 Tanner Putt (USA) Bontrager
8 Andrea Peron (Ita) Novo Nordisk
9 Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling
10 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team


Final general classification:

1 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 22:38:48
2 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:30
3 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:01:42
4 Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman 0:02:10
5 Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp 0:02:34
6 Gregory Brenes Obando (CRc) Champion System Pro Cycling Team 0:03:25
7 Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team 0:03:42
8 George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack Leopard 0:03:58
9 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:04:11
10 Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 0:04:12


Thank you for following our coverage of the USA Pro Challenge. 


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