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Tuesday, August 21,2012

Boulder cyclists speed to first and second in Pro Challenge Stage Two

Van Garderen, Vandevelde take podium in Crested Butte

By Elizabeth Miller
Getty Images/Flickr.com
Riders in Stage One

After a day of racing that saw racers from Colombia, Italy and Germany at the head of breakaway packs and leading the charge in the King of the Mountain contests, it was Boulder cyclists Tejay Van Garderen and Christian Vandevelde who surged ahead at the end to snag the top spots at the podium today. Matthias Frank was leading the uphill finish before van Garderen and Vandevelde, of BMC Racing and Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda respectively, came in just ahead.

The win earned van Garderen the yellow jersey for the day, while Tom Danielson held on to the King of the Mountain jersey and 6th place for the stage (and 11th place overall). Stage results put Ivan Rovny of RusVelo cycling team in third, and Levi Leipheimer of Omega Pharma-Quickstep in fourth.

Stage Two was a 99 mile course with two short uphill climbs to Cerro Summit and Blue Mesa Summit in the first 65 miles and springs through Gunnison and Crested Butte at miles 66.7 and 96.0.

Tyler Farrar once again snagged the best sprinter jersey — his third win after a year of without a win.

“It’s been horrible to go winless,” Farrar said in the press conference after winning Stage One’s leader and best sprinter jerseys. “Sprinters are judged by their wins — second, third and fourth place doesn’t count. Last year was disastrous as far as crashes go; it’s great to get something positive and feel like I’m moving in the right direction.”

Speaking of crashes, today saw a couple. A wreck 23 miles from the finish tore up Benjamin King (Radioshack Nissan Trek). His crew got him back on a bike, despite torn shorts, and sent him on his way.

Final report shows Chris Horner moving up in standings, just 12 seconds behind the lead, along with Lucas Eusar. Timmy Duggan is 21 seconds behind the lead, and Alex Howes, who was in the leading pack in the Gunnison sprint section, 26 seconds behind.

Much of the video coverage of the day showed Jorge Castiblanco Cubides, from the Colombian team EPM-UNE, riding solo along the road with breakaway groups and the peloton behind him. He beat a breakaway group in the first Nissan King of the Mountain, Matt Cooke and Vincenzo Nibali behind him. Despite the strength shown today, he finished at 34th for Stage Two, 46 seconds behind van Garderen.

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