Tuesday, August 21, 2012

UPCC Stage 2 - Montrose to Crested Butte

Image from the BMC team website

Stage 2 out of Montrose saved its surprises for the very end.  As is pretty typical for a stage like this an early break including names like Nibali and Zabriskie got away and the peloton didn't close it down.  Coming into the last 5k the break thought they had it won and started jockeying for position which saw the gap drop from 4+ minutes to 1:40 as they hit the final 3k climb to Mount Crested Butte but that appeared to be enough as BMC's Mathias Frank attacked and got away up the mountain.  After crossing under the 1K banner he was passed by a EPM-UNE rider, only to see that rider passed from out of nowhere (literally, as the cameras were pointed up the road and couldn't see anyone coming) by BMC's Teejay Van Garderen and Garmin's Christian Vander Velde with about 500 meters to go.  Apparently the peloton flew up the mountain and caught the break with less than a kilometer to go.

Stage results:
1st: Teejay Van Garderen - USA - BMC
2nd: Christian Vander Velde - USA - Garmin-SHARP
3rd: Ivan Rovny - Russia - RusVelo

Leader - Teejay Van Garderen - USA - BMC
Sprinter - Tyler Farrar - USA - Garmin-SHARP
King of the Mountains - Tom Danielson - USA - Garmin-SHARP
Young Rider - Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski - USA - Bontrager-Livestrong
Most Agressive - Infantino Abreu Rafael - Colombia - EPM-UNE
Team - Garmin-SHARP

No real change in the long-term chances of any of the big names.  Nibali lost almost two minutes yesterday and lost another 5 today so any last hope he had is probably gone.  otherwise nobody still in it lost significant time and nobody thought to be out of it made up time today.

Tomorrow's stage is the queen stage of the race, taking the riders from Gunnison to Aspen via Cottonwood and Independence Passes.  Both passes are over 12,000 feet, the highest in major pro cycling, and Cottonwood isn't even completely paved.  You can't win the race tomorrow, but you can certainly lose it if you get dropped on one of these climbs.

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