USA Pro Challenge: Tyler Farrar sprints to second victory in Colorado Springs
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Friday, August 24, 2012

USA Pro Challenge: Tyler Farrar sprints to second victory in Colorado Springs

by Ben Atkins at 5:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Garmin-Sharp sprinter wins despite being boxed in on fast critérium finale

tyler farrarTyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) took his second victory in the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge on the fifth stage, between Breckenridge and Colorado Springs. The 28-year-old - who won the opening stage of the race - managed to extricate himself from a boxed-in position with just 150 metres to go, and powered ahead of the rest of the sprinters to finish clear of the pack.

Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) was the best of the rest, just ahead of Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1-Sanofi), at the end of the relatively easy 189.7km stage.

A break of seven riders escaped at the beginning of the day, consisting of: Liu Biao (Champion System), Oliver Zaugg (RadioShack-Nissan), Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Astana), Carter Jones (Bissell), Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Sergey Firsanov (RusVelo). The group quickly opened up a lead of 6’40”, but this was steadily closed by Farrar’s Garmin-Sharp team, along with UnitedHealthcare.

With the peloton on their heels, a series of attacks in the lead group saw Nibali, Zaugg and Firsanov break clear of the rest, but they were just 25 seconds clear of the peloton as they began the first of three 3.8km city centre circuits. This was down to just nine seconds with two laps to go, and they were caught soon afterwards.

There were a number of attempted breaks in the final kilometres, but the sprinters teams had control and, into the final metres, Farrar managed to unblock himself to take the victory.

With the majority of the peloton finishing together there were no changes to the top of the general classification; Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) held on to the yellow jersey, but was still tied on time with Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) with two stages remaining.

Reactions to follow.

An easier day for the peloton but seven riders try to make it harder

After some tough mountain days, the fifth stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge was to be a slightly easier one for the peloton as it tackled the predominantly downhill course to Colorado Springs. The climb to Hoosier Pass would begin almost immediately to ensure that it was not all easy but, with almost four laps of a 3.8km circuit at the finish, the sprinters would certainly like their chances in this one.

The break was started by Liu, who attacked in the opening minutes of the stage and, after a flurry of counterattacks, was joined by Zaugg, Nepomnyachshiy, Jones, Santaromita, Nibali and Firsanov. Joey Rosskopf (Team Type 1-Sanofi) was just unable to join the group on the 1st category climb to Hoosier Pass and, despite a long chase, was forced to drift back to the peloton.

The seven riders’ lead opened up to more than six and a half minutes as a heavy rain shower fell on the race, until Garmin-Barracuda and UnitedHealthcare took control of the front of the peloton. Nibali was the best-placed rider in the break, 4’41” behind van Garderen, but, with Santaromita up the road, BMC Racing was content for the other teams to control things.

Over the unclassified climb of Wilkerson Pass after 88.8km the gap had reduced to 4’20”, and was down to 3’35” with 75km to go, as the leaders made their way up another unclassified rise. Team Type 1-Sanofi came up to join the chase and the three teams continued to gradually close it down.

With 60km to go the road pointed downwards, but the seven riders’ 3’05” lead was still falling slowly. As they rolled over the line at the second intermediate sprint of the stage, at Woodland Park with 51.5km to go, it was down to 2’35”.

Into the final 30km the break’s lead had been cut to just 30 seconds and, on a small rise in the road, Jones attacked and rode away from his six companions. Nibali pulled Zaugg across to the American though, followed by Liu, Santaromita and Frisanov; Nepomnyachshiy was unable to follow and dropped back to the peloton just 15 seconds behind him.

Nibali counterattacked, and only Firsanov and Zaugg could go with him; with 25km to go, the RusVelo rider was struggling to hang on, but just managed to claw his way up to the other two riders as they peaked the final bump between them and the finish.

The break is down to three but the peloton is breathing down its neck

With Santaromita back in the peloton, BMC Racing took over the chase but, as the race arrived on the streets of Colorado Springs, Michael Creed (Optum), Roman Kreuziger (Astana) and Javier Gomez (EPM-UNE) jumped off the front. With 20km to go, the three leaders were 15 seconds ahead of this new break, with the peloton 25 seconds back.

As a few drops of rain began to fall on the race again the BMC Racing Team closed down the three counterattackers, but allowed the gap to the three leaders grow to 30 seconds as they hit the finishing circuit with 14.9km to go.

More attacks off the front as Ramiro Rincon (EPM-UNE) and Cameron Wurf (Champion System) managed to jump clear; over the line the leaders were just 20 seconds ahead of this new group with the peloton at 25. These two counterattackers were also pulled back quickly, but the Nibali, Zaugg and Firsanov were still clear.

Over the line with two laps to go the trio’s lead was just nine seconds, with BMC Racing still leading the chase. Early into the lap though, they were reduced to two as Firsanov dropped back to the peloton; even with three riders the group was always going to be caught, but with only two it might happen before the peloton was ready.

Sure enough, with just over a kilometre and a half of the lap left, Nibali and Zaugg were caught, but there was an immediate counterattack from Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp). As the peloton pulled him back before the line however, Liquigas-Cannondale duo Moreno Moser and Damiano Caruso surged forward, as though they thought they were sprinting for the stage; there was still a lap to go though, and they drifted back as the UnitedHealthcare team pulled the peloton into the final kilometres.

There was a brief attempt to escape the peloton, but UnitedHealthcare was not letting anybody go at this stage. Karl Menzies (UnitedHealthcare) led into the finishing straight, but his sprinter Jake Keough was nowhere in sight; Alex Candelario (Optum) was the first to go as the sprinters began to fan out across the road, and Farrar appeared to be trapped several riders back.

The Garmin-Sharp rider backed off and came around by the left hand barriers though and, as he opened up his sprint, pulled away from the rest.

Result stage 5
1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
3. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1-Sanofi
4. Alex Candelario (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
5. Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech p/b C10
6. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
7. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp
8. Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10. Robigzon Oyola (Col) EPM-UNE

Standings after stage 5
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp
3. Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo @ 6s
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quick Step @ 8s
5. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team @ 12s
6. Joseph Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong
7. Ramiro Rincon (Col) EPM-UNE @ 13s
8. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp @ 15s
9. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale @ 17s
10. Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan


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