News: Sagan Wins stage 1 of USA Pro Cycling Challenge


Peter Sagan won Monday’s opening stage of the USA Pro Challenge ahead of Van Avermaet of BMC as Froome etc lose time in training race

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On his debut in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the Slovak champion of Cannondale Pro Cycling won the sprint of the first stage (Aspen-Aspen, 97 km) taking his 15th success of the season ahead of second place for Van Avermaet and third for Reijnen.


Picture: PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

“I arrived in Colorado two weeks ago to be ready for this race” said Sagan “and today’s result showed that was a good choice. I knew the form was good but you can’t be really sure until the race starts. Today everything went well. On paper, there are not many chances for me at USA Pro Challenge, it’s a race suited for climbers.”

“So, today we had to push hard to win and my teammates did a great job to manage the race. It wasn’t easy because the circuit was difficult and the stage short. In the finale, I attacked to avoid any surprises, but no riders cooperated so I decided to save the legs and take my chance in the sprint. I’m really happy. Now I’ll see day by day what’s happen. A race in the mountains is not easy and my goal is also to prepare for the race of September (Worlds)”.

0145_USPCC13_Stage1_Winner Peter SAGAN_WHEELIE_Celebrates_PhSpt

Picture: PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

Another second for Greg Van Avermaet of BMC
Fifth runner-up finish of the season for Greg Van Avermaet while teammate Tejay van Garderen finished fifth and gained time on several of the race favorites. Van Avermaet said he received a superb lead-out from his teammates, but simply could not hold off Slovakian road champion Peter Sagan “I came through the last corner in second position and started my sprint because I didn’t know where Peter was,” Van Avermaet said.

“In the last 150 meters, he came over me. But it was good to try it. I know Peter is a little bit stronger than me in the sprint. Second is a little bit disappointing after all of my second-place finishes in Utah, but it was good to try.”

Monday’s result was his 11th top-three finish in a season that includes five wins. Van Garderen – one of only 17 riders to finish in the same time as Sagan – said he was simply looking to stay out of trouble. “It’s always good to be on the good side of the splits,” the winner of the Amgen Tour of California said.

“It is definitely a good start. It’s good for morale. I am actually surprised where some of the GC (general classification) guys are. Some of the big favorites like Andrew Talansky and Chris Froome lost like five minutes. So that’s a bit surprising.”

Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said the BMC Racing Team reacted well when a small group escaped the peloton as it charged into Aspen on the last of three laps of a mountainous circuit. “We were lucky to have Brent Bookwalter in there because it had Sagan and George Bennett and some dangerous guys,” Stewart said.

With Sky Procycling chasing, five of the seven escapees were reeled in. But Carter Jones (Bissell Pro Cycling) and Bennett (RadioShack Leopard) were still away with four kilometers to go. “We had to have a lot of work from all of our guys – Julien Taramarcaz, Larry Warbasse and Mathias Frank – to pull it back because they had almost 20 seconds at one point and it was getting down to the wire,”

Stewart said. Swiss road champion Michael Schär significantly ramped up the speed to set the stage for the sprint. “Everybody did a good pull,” Van Avermaet said. “Michi (Schär) was incredibly strong. He did the last three kilometers on his own, to the last 300 meters almost. It was good to have him.”


Picture: PhotoSport International. uk usa asia.

Team Sky’s DS Dan Hunt explained “It was a chaotic finale especially when climbers like Joe have to sprint it out with some of the fastest men in the sport. This is Josh and Joe’s first real race at altitude this season so to finish in that main group is pleasing. Richie [Porte] and Chris [Froome] (above) were also really good. They were playing a team role today, as they will be doing all race, and they came back for plenty of bottles during the stage. It’s not every day you see a Tour de France winner doing that but it shows the character both he and Richie have got.”

Stage 1
1 SAGAN Peter Cannondale Pro Cycling Team 02:26:00
2 VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC Racing Team ,,
3 REIJNEN Kiel UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis ,,
4 GALLOPIN Tony RadioShack – Leopard ,,
5 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team ,,
6 CARUSO Damiano Cannondale Pro Cycling Team ,,
7 SUTHERLAND Rory Team Saxo-Tinkoff ,,
8 EUSER Lucas UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis ,,
9 DANIELSON Thomas Garmin – Sharp ,,
10 BALDWIN Christopher Bissell Pro Cycling ,,
11 BRENES OBANDO Gregory Juel Champion System Pro Cycling Team ,,
12 CRADDOCK Lawson Bontrager Cycling Team ,,
13 PUTT Tanner Bontrager Cycling Team ,,
14 ACEVEDO COLLE Janier Alexis Jamis – Hagens Berman ,,
15 KL̦DEN Andr̩as RadioShack РLeopard ,,
16 SCHLECK Andy RadioShack – Leopard ,,
17 MORTON Lachlan Garmin – Sharp ,,
18 DOMBROWSKI Joe Sky Procycling 00:05
19 ANTHONY Jesse Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies ,,
20 ROGERS Michael Team Saxo-Tinkoff ,,

35 EDMONDSON Joshua Sky Procycling ,,
52 TARAMARCAZ Julien BMC Racing Team 02:16
54 VOIGT Jens RadioShack – Leopard ,,
77 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 4.59
80 KENNAUGH Peter Sky Procycling ,,
103 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling 6.41
117 MILLAR David Garmin – Sharp ,,
119 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team ,,



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