USA Pro Challenge: Tejay van Garderen cements overall lead with Vail time trial victory
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Friday, August 23, 2013

USA Pro Challenge: Tejay van Garderen cements overall lead with Vail time trial victory

by Ben Atkins at 6:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Race leader beats Andrew Talansky by just four seconds as Janier Acevedo slips away

tejay van garderenTejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) strengthened his overall lead in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge with a close victory in the uphill time trial between Vail and the top of Vail Pass. The 25-year-old American covered the 16.1km (10 mile) course in a new course record of 25 minutes and one second, to push long-time leader Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) out of the stage hot seat by just four seconds. Talansky’s teammate Tom Danielson finished in third place, a minute and two seconds behind van Garderen, as BMC Racing and Garmin-Sharp dominated the stage, filling all of the top five places.

The stage victory saw van Garderen increase his general classification lead over everybody, with BMC Racing teammate Mathias Frank still in second place, but now 1’30” behind. Overnight third place Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) lost 1’40” to van Garderen and slipped to fourth place behind Danielson, who now trailed by 1’42”.

“It was certainly a tough effort. I don’t even know how to describe it,” said a pleased van Garderen afterwards. “Up there, your lungs are searing in the thin air. I was trying to be conservative on the way up, doing my best to keep the pace, but it’s still such a difficult thing to do when you’re at 10,000 ft.

“I was surprised that I got the stage win because I felt pretty bad coming in there at the end. Hopefully we can hold this jersey through Denver.”

The result was a major relief for him, not least because he lost the race lead against the clock two years ago. It confirms his superb showing in the Tour of California, and also shows that he has bounced back from a tough Tour de France.

Danielson went into the stage hoping to make up for the time he lost on Thursday due to being gapped on the descent. Instead, he conceded more ground and, quite possibly, any chance he had of winning the race.

“Today’s course was really challenging from a time trial standpoint,” he said. “For one, it’s really challenging to figure out what equipment to use. It was also difficult to tell how to pace yourself. We just tried to be smart about it. I raced pretty evenly the whole time and did the best I could.”

He admitted that his big chance to win the race came, and was lost, on the fourth stage.

“I knew Tejay was going to do a great time trial, this course was great for him. Yesterday [Thursday – ed.] was my opportunity to try and drop him and I was hoping to do that on the climb, but I couldn’t. When I got to the top, I knew I’d have to try something in the last three kilometres, but he really put a lot into it during the descent.

“I knew he was going to beat me today, but yesterday I was really frustrated. That’s just the nature of racing. It was still exciting for everyone to watch.”

Martijn Verschoor (Novo Nordisk) was the first rider to start the uphill course, clocking a time of 31’09” that was soon to be beaten. Five riders later Jason McCartney (Bissell) posted the first fast looking time, with 27’49” which was to last a little longer. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Team Sky) then went more than a minute and a half faster than the 39-year-old Vuelta stage winner, posting 26’17”.

It was to be some time until Talansky pushed the Belarusian champion off the top of the standings, as he went more than a minute faster with 25’05”. The Garmin-Sharp rider was barely able to get off his bike at the finish, collapsing against the side of a trailer, but his time looked to have been good enough to take the stage victory.

BMC Racing duo Steve Cummings and Larry Warbasse were to come closest to Talansky in the following minutes, but both were more than a minute behind.

The challenge to Talansky looked to be coming from within his own Garmin-Sharp team, as former race leader Lachlan Morton went through the intermediate check in 13’08”, just five seconds slower than Talansky’s 13’03”. Teammate Danielson then went through in 13’09”.

Frank’s performance at the halfway point was keeping BMC Racing’s challenge for the stage alive, as he passed through in 13’13”, but van Garderen blew the rest off the board with 12’31”.

Morton finished in 26’18”, but Danielson then crossed the line in 26’03”. This was 58 seconds slower than teammate Talansky, but by far the fastest of the general classification riders so far. Frank finished in 26’27”, losing time to overall rivals Danielson and Morton, but had done just enough to stay ahead of the former in the general classification.

Acevedo dropped more time, however, finishing in 26’41” to concede his third place overall to Danielson.

Van Garderen lost some of the huge advantage that he’d built at halfway, but still managed to cross the line in 25’01” to take the stage and remain on course for his second major US stage race of the season.

Result stage 5
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team, 16.1km in 25’01”
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp @ 4s
3. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp @ 1’02”
4. Steve Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team @ 1’04”
5. Larry Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team @ 1’12”
6. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Argos-Shimano @ 1’16”
7. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Sky Procycling
8. Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp @ 1’17”
9. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Sharp @ 1’24”
10. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team @ 1’26”

Standings after stage 5
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
2. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team @ 1’30”
3. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp @ 1’42”
4. Janier Acevedo (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman @ 2’10”
5. Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp @ 2’34”
6. Gregory Obando Brenes (CRc) Champion System @ 3’25”
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team @ 3’42”
8. George Bennett (USA) RadioShack-Leopard @ 3’58”
9. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ 4’11”
10. Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling @ 4’12”


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