Carpenter wins in Crested Butte

Hincapie Sportswear Development Team rider Robin Carpenter took an impressive, but somewhat controversial solo win during stage 2 at the USA Pro Challenge in Crested Butte on Tuesday. After being in a breakaway for nearly 100km, Carpenter finished the stage six seconds ahead of chasers Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC), but a decision by the judges to neutralize the race with 9km to go muddied the results.

Howes started the day in second place overall and moved into the yellow jersey, now 11 seconds ahead of BMC's Ben Hermans and one more second ahead of his teammate Tejay van Garderen.

It was the Hincapie Sportswear team's most important victory to date, and follows some strong performances at the Tour of Utah, but it is certainly Carpenter's biggest win.

"It's huge for me, it's massive, the best win I've ever had in my short career," the 22-year-old said. "I'm really excited, and I can't believe it. I couldn't believe it until about 200m to go."

"Coming into the race, this is the best we could have hoped for as a team," Carpenter said. "A stage win is spectacular, especially because it's our first time in the race. We're a young program."

The 169.7km stage crested the category 2 climb up Kebler Pass with 16.7km to go, and the descent, which is only partially paved, was made treacherous by a sudden thunderstorm, which turned the dirt roads to mud. There were mixed communications at the top, with the field wondering if the race had been stopped, while Carpenter forged on ahead.

Carpenter had 45 seconds when the race was forcefully stopped with 9km to go, after they had passed the last dirt section. Arguments over the timing of the neutralisation and how it impacted the dynamics of the race ensued, and the race was re-started after five minutes or so. Even after the field was allowed to proceed, the racing took a while to get back underway.

"The neutralisation made for a funny run in," Howes said. "It was really disorganised, and even when we were riding flat out, we were talking amongst ourselves, 'are we doing this? Are we racing or not racing? Tejay hit out under one kilometer to go, and I followed his wheel, and I looked down and thought, 'the legs are doing it, this is going to work out'"

Howes regretting missing out on an opportunity for the stage victory - he was second on the opening stage, too, but said he was under team orders not to pull van Garderen away from Garmin-Sharp team leader Tom Danielson any farther than necessary. Although he gets to wear the race's leader's jersey, he said it is only temporary.

"We're riding for Tom Danielson tomorrow up Monarch. Basically the only thing that changes is I'll be in yellow in front of Tom, hopefully on the later stages of Monarch. I have no hopes and dreams of crushing the Vail time trial, since I can't time trial my way out of a wet paper bag. They'll do their thing tomorrow, and hopefully I will pass this onto Tommy D."

How it unfolded

The peloton appeared hesitant to let a breakaway ride away early in the 169.7km stage from Aspen to Crested Butte, and it took nearly two hours for a group of 12 to form off the front as the race approached the first classified climb of the day on McClure Pass.

In the group were Matej Mohoric (Cannondale), David de la Cruz (NetApp-Endura), Michael Torckler (Team SmartStop), Dion Smith, Joe Lewis and Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Sportswear), Kirk Carlsen and Luis Lemus (Jelly Belly-Maxxis), Jesse Anthony (Optum Pro Cycling), mountains classification leader Ben Jacques-Maynes (Jamis-Hagens Berman), Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare) and Jai Crawford (Drapac).

Once established, the lead group powered up and over McClure Pass and had an ultimate gap of 4:10 on the descent. From there the advantage started to plummet, and the escapees' gap was down to 3:30 at the bottom of the second classified climb of the day, the gravel ascent of Kebler Pass.

Torckler, who won the mountains classification at the Tour of Utah last year, attacked his breakaway companions on the lowers slopes of the climb as the front group started coming apart. Several riders were able to get back on terms with the SmartStop riders, including Smith, Carpenter, Lewis, Luis Lemus, Anthony, Jacques-Maynes, Mohoric and de la Cruz.

But that group was short-lived also as the peloton, which had been paired down to about 40 riders, continued to whittle away at the advantage. Tockler, Jacques-Maynes, Mohoric and Anthony continued to power toward the second KOM of the day on Kebler Pass s some of the riders who dropped from the breakaway started to claw their way back. Among them was Carpenter, who eventually attacked the lead group and found himself solo off the front.

BMC lined itself up on the front of the chasing peloton which included the yellow jersey of race leader Kiel Reijnen. With just 23km remaining, Carpenter was solo off the front, followed by Jacques-Maynes and Lemus 40 seconds back.

As the riders climbed toward Kebler Pass, the rain that had been threatening all day started to fall in earnest, and the gravel descent off the pass turned into a greasy, slippery slide. Officials noted the condition and neutralized the race until riders were back on pavement with about 12km remaining.

Officials stopped Carpenter on the descent and let the slimmed-down peloton catch him. The race was restarted with Carpenter's gap of 45 seconds reestablished, setting up the finale on Mt. Crested Butte.

Carpenter built a lead of more than one minute as he headed toward the final climb to Crested Butte. The field climbed fast behind him but the young rider held on for the win in what turned out to be a nail-biting finale all the way to the line. Howes and van Garderen rode into the finish just six seconds behind Carpenter. Howes took second place and van Garderen third on the day.

Results

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Stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development4:17:18
2Alex Howes (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp0:00:07
3Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:15
5Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp0:00:17
6Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory RacingRow 5 - Cell 2
7Julian Kyer (USA) Team SmartStop0:00:20
8Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development0:00:23
9Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:00:24
10Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStopRow 9 - Cell 2
11Clement Chevrier (Fra) Bissell Development TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp-Endura0:00:25
13Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo0:00:27
14Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo0:00:31
15Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory RacingRow 14 - Cell 2
16Tanner Putt (USA) Bissell Development Team0:00:35
17Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 16 - Cell 2
18Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 17 - Cell 2
19Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:00:36
20Phillip Gaimon (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp0:00:44
21Benjamin King (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp0:00:45
22Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 21 - Cell 2
23Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:47
24Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Bissell Development Team0:00:49
25Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Sportswear Development0:00:57
26Daniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:01:06
27Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:01:16
28David de la Cruz Melgarejo (Esp) Team Netapp-Endura0:01:18
29Chris Butler (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development0:01:20
30Javier Megias Leal (Esp) Team Novo Nordisk0:01:26
31Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team0:01:29
32Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing0:01:30
33Carson Miller (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:01:34
34Richard Handley (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT0:01:35
35Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale0:01:41
36Jeffry Louder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 35 - Cell 2
37Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Team Garmin-SharpRow 36 - Cell 2
38Caleb Fairly (USA) Team Garmin-SharpRow 37 - Cell 2
39Michael Torckler (NZl) Team SmartStop0:01:42
40Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo0:01:44
41Keegan Swirbul (USA) Bissell Development TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Robbie Squire (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:01:50
43Hugh Carthy (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT0:01:54
44Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:01:55
45Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 44 - Cell 2
46Bjorn Selander (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:01:56
47Oscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development0:02:08
48Tiago Machado (Por) Team Netapp-Endura0:02:17
49Michael Schär (Sui) BMC Racing Team0:02:18
50Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 49 - Cell 2
51Matt Cooke (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:02:19
52Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:02:20
53Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:03:30
54Patrick Konrad (Aut) Team Netapp-EnduraRow 53 - Cell 2
55Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:05:18
56Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 55 - Cell 2
57Tyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development0:05:19
58Luis Enrique Davila (Mex) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:06:59
59Edward King (USA) Cannondale0:07:26
60Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale0:07:27
61Ian Burnett (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 60 - Cell 2
62Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory RacingRow 61 - Cell 2
63Joseph Lewis (Aus) Hincapie Sportswear DevelopmentRow 62 - Cell 2
64Gregor Muhlberger (Aut) Team Netapp-Endura0:07:28
65Matej Mohoric (Slo) CannondaleRow 64 - Cell 2
66Edward Beltran Suarez (Col) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 65 - Cell 2
67Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 66 - Cell 2
68Martin Kohler (Sui) BMC Racing Team0:08:26
69Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:10:07
70Gregory Daniel (USA) Bissell Development Team0:11:35
71Ian Crane (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter HomeRow 70 - Cell 2
72Markel Irizar Aranburu (Esp) Trek Factory RacingRow 71 - Cell 2
73Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale0:11:36
74Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 73 - Cell 2
75Daniel Eaton (USA) Bissell Development TeamRow 74 - Cell 2
76Alexander Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:11:37
77Stephen Leece (USA) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:11:39
78Travis McCabe (USA) Team SmartStopRow 77 - Cell 2
79Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:11:40
80Tom Moses (GBr) Rapha Condor JLTRow 79 - Cell 2
81Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:11:41
82Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie Sportswear Development0:11:55
83James Oram (NZl) Bissell Development Team0:12:39
84Jacob Rathe (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:13:20
85Michel Koch (Ger) CannondaleRow 84 - Cell 2
86Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:13:30
87Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk0:14:30
89Jose Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Team Netapp-Endura0:14:31
90Zachary Bell (Can) Team SmartStopRow 89 - Cell 2
91Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 91 - Cell 2
93Thomas Dekker (Ned) Team Garmin-SharpRow 92 - Cell 2
94Elliott Porter (GBr) Rapha Condor JLTRow 93 - Cell 2
95Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT0:14:32
96Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 95 - Cell 2
97Kirk Carlsen (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 96 - Cell 2
98Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk0:14:33
99Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team SmartStopRow 98 - Cell 2
100Michael Cuming (GBr) Rapha Condor JLTRow 99 - Cell 2
101Steve Fisher (USA) Jelly Belly p/b MaxxisRow 100 - Cell 2
102Mike Friedman (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit StrategiesRow 101 - Cell 2
103Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo0:14:34
104Benjamin Day (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro CyclingRow 103 - Cell 2
105Leopold König (Cze) Team Netapp-EnduraRow 104 - Cell 2
106Scott Zwizanski (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:14:35
107Eric Marcotte (USA) Team SmartStopRow 106 - Cell 2
108Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Team Netapp-Endura0:14:37
109Jai Crawford (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:15:22
110Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk0:15:30
111David Lozano Riba (Esp) Team Novo NordiskRow 110 - Cell 2
112Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale0:16:10
113Gavin Mannion (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp0:16:24
114Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:16:27
115Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 114 - Cell 2
116Luis Romero Amaran (Cub) Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home0:16:28
117Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale0:21:25
118Michael Mørkøv (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo0:22:57
119Scott Ambrose (NZl) Team Novo Nordisk0:22:58
120Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Bissell Development TeamRow 119 - Cell 2
121Aaron Perry (NZl) Team Novo NordiskRow 120 - Cell 2
122Isaac Bolivar Hernandez (Col) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:23:00
123Johnathan Freter (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:23:33
DNFKevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo NordiskRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFJoshua Berry (USA) Team SmartStopRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Whitehouse (NZl) Rapha Condor JLTRow 125 - Cell 2
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Sprints- One
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Tyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development5pts
2Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Two
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Tyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development5pts
2Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team SmartStop1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Three
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Robin Carpenter (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development5pts
2Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Michael Schär (Sui) BMC Racing Team1Row 2 - Cell 3
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