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“Some of the guys here are saying they don’t know about their shape. Hey, we do know and we are ready” stage winner 2012 Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Leopard) said on the press conference Sunday prior to the American race, USA P...

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ANDREW TALANSKY

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CHRIS FROOME

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CHRISTIAN VANDE VELDE

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PETER SAGAN

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RICHIE PORTE

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TEJAY VAN GARDEREN

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TOM DANIELSON

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USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE

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19.08.2013 @ 23:15 Posted by Mark Ellegaard

Whilst not being among the top favorites, German veteran Jens Voigt, who recently postponed his retirement, to race for one more year, is ready to compete at highest level this upcoming week. It is highly unlikely that the 41 year old German can compete on the general classification, but might he not go for a stage win or two? The team is ready, and especially their young hope of Georg Bennett is in a shape to fight on the GC, according to Voigt “Yes, we want to get a good result here, you know? George (Bennett) looks pretty good. He looked really sharp and ready in the Tour of Utah.” (Velonews)

 

Also a collection of the GC favorites spoke their expectations on the upcoming North American race, starring most of the world cycling elite.

 

Sky, entering the race with reigning Tour winner Chris Froome and his Lieutenant Richie Porte, looks on paper as a tough one to beat, but according to Froome himself, the pair are racing to support their teammates

 

“Richie and myself have had a little bit of a break since the Tour, so we’re probably not going as well as we were. But either way, we’re here to do what we can and help out our teammates.” Porte emphasizes further “I’m not really at my best, but that’s not to say I can’t be in there helping out my team. In my current shape, I’m not really looking forward to the climbs so much.”

 

Unlike Porte and Froome, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) had somewhat of a disappointing tour, finishing up 45 in the GC, but is now in a position to revenge himself on July as he explains

 

“We’re definitely taking this race seriously, we brought a really strong team and we’d like to win it … that’s the ultimate goal. We’re obviously going to face some stiff competition with all [the top-flight riders] participating this year.”

 

The Garmin-Sharp team will most certainly not let Tejay have an easy win, as the home team is entering the USA Pro Challenge race with a powerful lineup, starring race winner 2012 Christian Vande Velde, the talented young Andrew Talansky, finising 10th overall this year’s tour, and Tom Danielson who recently won the mountainous Tour of Utah.

 

The latter rider predicts an aggressive race, where a combination of strength and brightness will lead to victory

 

“The course really favored an aggressive approach and this year is similar. You have to either control other people being aggressive or be aggressive yourself. It’s a very strong field this year with Sky and the Tour de France champion. You have to be careful … you can’t do crazy stuff. We’ll be as strong as we can be, and we’ll try to be as smart as possible as well” he further states that that he and the team is more than ready for the task “I feel good and I always love coming to this race. It’s my home race and I’m pumped for sure. I think the key is a strong team. As you saw last year, we were super aggrassive”

 

Also Peter Sagan (Cannondale), the green jersey winner of Tour the France this year, will race this week, and although the race favors the climbers, Sagan has good expectation towards the coming week “We will see how I do in this race. When I am doing good I can stay on the front of the climbs, but there [are] also some stages for the sprinters.”

 

The first stage kicks off today, with a 97.6 km circuit around Aspen, having a profile that could suit the talented Sagan.

 

 

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