USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Ever-young Voigt battles to impressive stage win
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Ever-young Voigt battles to impressive stage win

by Shane Stokes at 6:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Van Garderen snatches back leader’s jersey from Vande Velde

Jens VoigtRadioShack Nissan’s Jens Voigt today clocked up a superb solo win in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, reaching the line a full two minutes 58 seconds of the next riders.

Voigt was part of a sixteen-man break which went clear early on, joining up with Craig Lewis (Champion System), Christopher Jones (UnitedHealthCare), Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1) EPM-Une duo Camilo Castiblanco and Eduard Beltran, Jesse Anthony (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Andres Diaz Corrales and Matt Cooke (Team Exergy), Roman Kreuziger and Fabio Aru (Astana), Lachlan Morton (Garmin Sharp), Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthCare), Carter Jones and Julian Kyer (Bissell Cycling) plus Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing Team).

He then attacked alone on the climb of Independence Pass, leaving the others behind and battling to build a six minute lead. The others were later caught and, realising Voigt wouldn’t be seen again prior to the line, the impetus went out of the pursuit.

“I tried to make my own destiny today. I’m about 20 days short of turning 41 and I want to keep walking the walk and talking the talk,” he said after the finish. “Today was a moment I could give it my best one more time. It was painful but very enjoyable.

“I think I earned this win the hard way. I knew if I had two minutes at the top of Independence Pass that they would never see me again. I was trying not to get ahead of myself and think about the win and stay focused on my ride. I did have to say ‘Shut Up, Legs!’ a few times, but I am just really happy.”

Andreas Klöden led the bunch home, the RadioShack Nissan rider being tailed by Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma Quick Step) and Oliver Zaugg (RadioShack Nissan).

Race leader Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Sharp) was gapped slightly on the final drag up to the line but closed up to those in front just before the finish. However while he had started the day level on time with Van Garderen, the sum total of stage placings and finishing order saw the lead move back to the latter.

The change in leadership was significant, keeping things on a knife edge. However Voigt’s victory was an equally big deal, and one which proved highly popular with many of the spectators. The German may be 40 years of age, but he’s still one of the strongest long-distance diesels in the peloton and, as today proved, still a winner.

How it played out:

Stage four of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge took the riders 97.2 miles/156.5 kilometres from Aspen to Beaver Creek, crossing Independence Pass plus two other Nissan KOMs. They would also encounter Waste Management sprints at Leadville and Minturn.

The race leader’s yellow jersey was worn by Garmin-Sharp's Christian Vande Velde, who was deadlocked on time with Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team). Tom Danielson had the mountains jersey while his Garmin-Sharp squad held the team classification lead.

First to attack was Craig Lewis (Champion System), who was then joined by Christopher Jones (UnitedHealthCare), Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1) and the EPM-Une duo Camilo Castiblanco and Eduard Beltran. Catiblanco was sixteen points behind Tom Danielson in the mountains contest, and looking to reduce that gap.

This quintet were in turn joined by eleven others, namely Jens Voigt (RadioShack Nissan), Jesse Anthony (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies), Andres Diaz Corrales and Matt Cooke (Team Exergy), Roman Kreuziger and Fabio Aru (Astana), Lachlan Morton (Garmin Sharp), Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthCare), Carter Jones and Julian Kyer (Bissell Cycling) plus Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing Team).

Climbing Independence Pass, the sixteen leaders had almost four minutes over the BMC and Garmin-Sharp-led peloton. Voigt then attacked and set off alone, while behind the break split and then partially came back together approaching the summit.

Castiblanco jumped clear and took the points for second ahead of Morton, Kyer and Kreuziger, reducing Danielson’s advantage.

Heading towards the feedzone, which came halfway through the stage, Voigt had built a two minute 25 second lead over the group behind, and a considerable six minutes 35 seconds over the main bunch.

The German pushed on into very strong winds, battling the invisible wall in front of him. His lead over the chasers was approximately two minutes 45 seconds at the Waste Management sprint line in Leadville, with the main bunch a further minute back. The latter reeled in the chase group soon afterwards, at which time Voigt had less than three minutes.

Things were looking tougher for him, but one aid was the heavy rain which was falling and which could – possibly – complicate the chase for the peloton, and affect the morale of those behind. That’s what happened, with Voigt’s dogged determination earning him another minute as he headed towards the KOM of Battle Mountain.

He crested the summit with just under 25 kilometres to go and, by that point, his lead had soared to a massive six and a half minutes. That made it impossible for the peloton to catch him before the finish, providing he stayed upright, and he descended rapidly but cautiously off the mountain.

He raced on towards the finishing climb, riding well up the final ramp and taking a fine win. Klöden and Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) led the general classification contenders in, the latter doing enough top wrest the leader’s jersey back from Vande Velde.

Things remain as tight as possible, though, guaranteeing another battle tomorrow and beyond that,

USA Pro Cycling Challenge:

Stage 6, Aspen to Beaver Creek:

1, Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) 156.4 kilometres in 3 hours 54 mins
2, Andreas Klöden (RadioShack-Nissan) at 2 mins 58 secs
3, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing Team)
4, Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
5, Oliver Zaugg (RadioShack-Nissan)
6, Christian Vande Velde (Garmin – Sharp)
7, Ivan Rovny (RusVelo)
8, Joe Dombrowski (Bontrager-Livestrong)
9, Janez Brajkovic (Astana Pro Team)
10, Ramiro Rincon (EPM-UNE) all same time

General classification after stage 4:

1, Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) 17 hours 34 mins 18 secs
2, Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Sharp)
3, Ivan Rovny (RusVelo) at 6 secs
4, Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) at 8 secs
5, Janez Brajkovic (Astana Pro Team) at 12 secs
6, Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (Bontrager Livestrong Team)
7, Ramiro Rincon Diaz (EPM - Une) at 13 secs
8, Thomas Danielson (Garmin - Sharp) at 15 secs
9, Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) at 17 secs
10, Andreas Klöden (RadioShack-Nissan)


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