News – USA Pro Challenge Stage 5


Laurent Didier wins stage 5 of USA Pro Challenge, Van Garderen holds onto lead whilst Richard Handley has superb result in 8th!

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News – USA Pro Challenge Stage 5

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The 168-kilometre stage five into the Colorado ski haven of Breckenridge was another day for opportunists, and Trek Factory Racing’s Laurent Didier wasted no time in jumping in the day’s escape when it finally formed a third of the way into the race.

It was his second straight day off the front but the Luxembourger showed no sign of fatigue as he attacked and powered away on the final climb of the day and held his slim advantage to the line to take the win, his first international victory.


Photo: ‘PhotoSport International’

Javier Acevedo (Garmin Sharp) and Rob Britton (Smartstop) were breathing down his neck for the last five downhill kilometres, nearly catching Didier in the closing metres. They would finish in the same time, for second and third places respectively, but fittingly the victory went to Didier who proved he was the strongest of the breakaway.

“At the beginning of this race I had a little problem with the altitude because I was planned for the Vuelta, so I came here late. I needed a few days to adapt. Yesterday I attacked at kilometer zero and made the break happen and two days ago I was in the final group of 25, and today it worked out.

“When we started the race I was in the front to go with a breakaway, but I just did not have the legs from the last two days where I did a lot of work – the feeling in the legs were like concrete! After 40 kilometers the road narrowed and I moved to the front and followed one move and boom! I was in the break.

“But then my legs were still not the best, but with the rain starting and the cold it was good for me. In the first climb I knew I had to make the selection because I was scared of Acevedo. I also knew the last climb was steep and that is not favorable for me.”

“I told Kim [Andersen, director] that this was the climb where I had to try. Then when they came back and I saw it was not a great situation with two Garmins. So I let Ben King go, because in my opinion [Acevedo] was stronger, and then I made my move. I am super happy because I don’t win many races, but the ones I do win are in tough conditions. It’s a little strange but it’s like that.” Laurent Didier


Photo: ‘PhotoSport International’

USA Pro Challenge Race Leader Van Garderen Ninth
BMC’s Tejay van Garderen finished ninth and held onto the overall lead Friday at the USA Pro Challenge. Van Garderen finished in a group of five 93 seconds later, gaining time on five of the seven riders immediately behind him in the overall standings.

Heading into Saturday’s individual time trial in Vail, van Garderen leads Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) by 20 seconds, Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis) by 37, Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) by 39 and Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing) by 51. No other riders are within a minute of the defending champion, who last year set the record on the 16.1-km course that steadily rises up in the last five kilometers. “I feel good, I feel confident,” van Garderen said. “Rafal Majka is still kind of the question mark. He is obviously riding really well, so I am glad I have 20 seconds on him. As long as I keep my wits about me, I will be OK.”

Van Garderen said he was content to see the breakaway stay ahead on a day when the race reached its highest point – Hoosier Pass at 3,517 meters – and wind and rain battered the peloton for hours. “It took a really long time for the break to get going, and with the cold temperatures, we didn’t want to get greedy and go for the stage and bring the guys back,” van Garderen said.

“We just wanted to conserve our guys as much as possible and keep the break in check, making sure it didn’t get too much time.”

For Richard Handley of RCJ, it was a stunning result finishing eight, one place ahead of big hitters van Garderen and Rafa Majka

1. Didier Laurent, Trek Factory Racing 3:50:38
2. Acevedo Calle, Janier AlexisGarmin Sharp
3. Britton Rob, Team SmartStop
4. King Benjamin, Garmin Sharp 0:15
5. Mendes José, Team NetApp – Endura 1:11

8. Handley Richard, Rapha Condor JLT21 1.33
9. van Garderen Tejay, BMC Racing Team
10. Majka Rafa, Tinkoff-Saxo
48. Porter Elliott, Rapha Condor JLT 8:23
54. Voigt Jens, Trek Factory Racing 8.50
70. Lapthorne Darren, Drapac Professional Cycling
81. House Kristian, Rapha Condor JLT 10.01
109. Carthy Hugh, Rapha Condor JLT
110. Sulzberger Bernard, Drapac Professional Cycling
111. Moses Thomas, Rapha Condor JLT
113. Norris Lachlan, Drapac Professional Cycling
118. Cuming Michael, Rapha Condor JLT

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