USA Pro Challenge: Peter Sagan takes stage as Tejay Van Garderen tops GC
Last Updated: 26/08/13 1:01pm
Peter Sagan rounded off the USA Pro Challenge as he began by sprinting to his fourth stage victory in Colorado.
The Cannondale rider proved he was head and shoulders above his rivals once again on the sprint-friendly circuit in Denver and latched onto Ryan Anderson's wheel on the closing straight before passing the Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies man for another comfortable triumph.
Tejay Van Garderen and Mathias Frank meanwhile, also finished in the same group as Sagan which ensured they completed a BMC one-two at the top of the general classification. Van Garderen took the overall victory by a 90-second margin, with Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) claiming the final spot on the podium.
The concluding stage followed the tried and tested formula for a sprint stage with seven riders chipping off the front during the early exchanges - although BMC kept them on a tight leash and never allowed their lead to stretch much over a minute.
Sensing their days would soon be numbered, Tyler Wren (Jamis-Hagens Berman) attacked out of the break with around 30km to go, and when he was pegged back Lucas Euser (UnitedHealthcare) immediately followed. By that point, only Carson Miller (Jamis-Hagens Berman) and Ben King (RadioShack-Leopard) could mount a reply, and once they had joined forces the other escapees quickly gave up the ghost.
Despite the trio's best efforts, they too were swept up on the last of eight 15.1km laps, with Garmin-Sharp driving a ferocious pace on the front of the peloton. UnitedHealthcare, BMC and Argos-Shimano also came to the fore as the race neared its conclusion, but it was Sagan who was celebrating after edging out Anderson by over half a bike length.
Team Sky ended the race with just four riders after Chris Froome abandoned early in the stage and Josh Edmondson was forced out after taking a tumble with just 17km to go.
Sports Director Dan Hunt admitted it had not been an ideal conclusion but revealed that neither rider had suffered any serious setbacks, nor that their early departures would hamper the remainder of their seasons.
He told TeamSky.com: "We pulled Froomey because he was feeling a bit under the weather. He wanted to finish the race but we told him 'rather than pushing it, see how you feel once you get going, and if you're still not right then there's nothing to gain by continuing'. We didn't want the racing to exasperate the problem with him heading into his next block of training.
"As for Josh, by the time he fell the racing was full on so there was no way he was going to get back into the bunch. It was as simple as that. He has a few scrapes but there's certainly nothing serious."
Stage seven result
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling, 2:27:15
2 Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, same time
3 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, st
4 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano, st
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team, st
6 Edwin Alcibiades Avila Vanegas (Col) Colombia, st
7 Tanner Putt (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team, st
8 Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk, st
9 Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, st
10 Michael SchÃ¤r (Swi) BMC Racing Team, st
1 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team, 22:38:48
2 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team, +1:30
3 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp, +1:42
4 Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman, +2:10
5 Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp , +2:34
6 Gregory Brenes Obando (CRc) Champion System Pro Cycling Team, +3:25
7 Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager Cycling Team, +3:42
8 George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack Leopard, +3:58
9 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff, +4:11
10 Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, +4:12