Sunday, August 26, 2012

UPCC Stage 7 - Denver Time Trial

Image from USA Pro Challenge website

Another great day of cycling! We spent the day down in Civic Center Park where today's time trial started and finished. It was an interesting setup with the team buses on one end the finish on the other and the start right in the center, bisecting the finishing straight like a T. For the riders to get from their buses to the start house they ran a path barricaded on both sides from the center to the start house, with one gap for people int he festival to cross sides. I happened to be trying to cross when they blocked it off for Tommy D (one of my personal favorite riders) to ride up to the start house for his warm up ride. We also passed the Radio Shack bus after the race just as Jens Voight and Chris Horner came out.

The time trial went somewhat as expected. Taylor Phinney had the best time and won the stage. Christian Vande Velde was 2nd, 10 seconds behind, Tejay Van Garderen was 3rd, 19 seconds back. The big surprise was Levi Leipheimer who finished 9th, 43 seconds off the pace! This means that the winner of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is Christan Vande Velde of Garmin-SHARP! Go Argyle!

The only elimination today was EPM-UNE's Piamonte Carlos Fernando who overcooked the final corner onto the finishing straight, hit the barriers, and catapulted his bike over the dividing barrier and into the lane for riders coming out of the start house! He had to wait for a new bike to complete the final block of the time trial but it took too long so he was eliminated for being over the time cut.

Stage results:
1st: Taylor Phinney - USA - BMC
2nd: Christian Vande Velde - USA - Garmin-SHARP
3rd: Tejay van Garderen - USA - BMC

Rory Sutherland was given the Most Aggressive Rider award today

Full List Of Stage Winners:
Stage 1: Tyler Farrar - USA - Garmin-SHARP
Stage 2: Tejay van Garderen - USA - BMC
Stage 3: Tom Danielson - USA - Garmin-SHARP
Stage 4: Jens Voight - Germany - Radio Shack-Nissan-TREK
Stage 5: Tyler Farrar - USA - Garmin-SHARP
Stage 6: Rory Sutherland - Australia - United Healthcare
Stage 7: Taylor Phinney - USA - BMC

Final Podium:
Leader - Christian Vande Velde - USA - Garmin-SHARP
2nd: Tejay van Garderen - USA - BMC - 21 seconds behind
3rd: Levi Leipheimer - USA - Omega Pharma-Quickstep - 24 seconds behind

BTW , last year's podium was Levi, Christian, then Tejay.

Final jersey winners
Sprinter - Tyler Farrar - USA - Garmin-SHARP
King of the Mountains - Jens Voight - Germany - Radio Shack-Nissan-TREK
Young Rider - Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski - USA - Bontrager-Livestrong
Most Agressive - Tom Danielson - USA - Garmin-SHARP
Team - Radio Shack-Nissan-TREK

(The final Most Aggressive rider jersey is based on a media vote of who has been most aggressive all race.)

A week ago I predicted Tommy D with Garmin-SHARP a heavy favorite to have the winner if it wasn't Danielson.  Well Danielson slipped up on Flagstaff but his teammate was able to finish off the week with a great time trial and a big win for the hometown squad.  The team also had 3 of 7 stage victories and won 2 of the other 4 jerseys.  Overall a great race for Team Argyle!

13 years ago when I started following cycling seriously I never thought I'd end up seeing George Hincapie's final two days as a professional in person.  The peloton is going to have a big hole in 2013 without him.  Thanks for the entertaining racing over a great career George!

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