2014 USA Pro Challenge in photos
The USA Pro Challenge is finished for another year with Tejay van Garderen (BMC) winning the seven-stage event in Colorado for the second year in a row. Photographer Angelica Dixon was there to capture the action and put together the following gallery of images from the race.
On stage 1 the riders took to a short but challenging 98km route which included three laps of a circuit that started and finished in Aspen. Kiel Reijen (UnitedHealthcare) took stage honours after outsprinting Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp).
The following day Robin Carpenter (Hincapie Development Team) took an impressive solo victory — the biggest win of the 22-year-old’s career — after spending the rain-soaked stage in a series of breakaways. After getting away solo on the unsealed Kebler Pass climb, and after a later descent was controversially neutralised, Carpenter was able to hold off a chase by Alex Howes and Tejay van Garderen to win by seven seconds. With two consecutive second places, Alex Howes moved into the overall lead.
It was on stage 3, with its summit finish at Monarch Mountain, that Tejay van Garderen sowed the seeds of his overall victory. A group of GC contenders began the final ascent together and van Garderen attacked with 1km to the finish. The American won the stage just ahead of Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) and took the overall lead.
Stage 4 started and finished in Colorado Springs and featured four laps of a challenging circuit that included a steep climb in the Garden of the Gods. Sprinter Elia Viviani (Cannondale) managed to get over the obstacle before jetting to victory ahead of the Martin Kohler (BMC) and Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly).
Trek Factory Racing’s Laurent Didier took his first international victory on stage 5 when he got into the breakaway then attacked on the final climb before the finish in Breckenridge. He held on to win just ahead of two chasers while Tejay van Garderen maintained his lead in the overall classification.
The stage 6 ITT saw van Garderen extend his lead with a second stage win at this year’s Pro Challenge. He powered away to win the 16.1km ITT by 53 seconds over recent winner of the Tour of Utah, Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp). The win saw van Garderen extend his overall lead to 1:32 over Danielson with Serghei Tvetcov third, a further 13 seconds behind.
On the final stage Alex Howes added to his two second places in the race with a sprint victory on the streets of Denver. Van Garderen finished sixth after leading out his teammate Michael Schar to third, the former holding on to win a second USA Pro Challenge in as many years.