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The descent witnessed a determined effort by Morton, but despite his intentions he never managed to bridge the gap, finishing three seconds off the BMC Racing Team rider. 

Photo: Sirotti








21.08.2013 @ 08:02 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Mathias Frank’s (BMC Racing Team) best-ever season continued in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge as the Swiss rider was victorious on the second stage between Aspen and Breckenridge in the USA Pro Challenge.


As one of a surviving trio from a 15-rider breakaway that had broken clear in the latter half of the 202.9km stage, Frank attacked companions Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp) and Lawson Craddock (Bontrager) as they crested the summit of the final, 3rd category climb to the Boreas Pass, and succeeded in holding off the chase on the four kilometre descent to the finish line.

The descent witnessed a determined effort by Morton, but despite his intentions he never managed to bridge the gap, finishing three seconds off the BMC Racing Team rider. Craddock, however, was caught and passed by a surging Peter Sagan (Cannondale) who tried to defend his yellow jersey, in the company of Frank’s teammate Tejay van Garderen.

Despite taking third place 14 seconds behind Frank, however, the 11 seconds lost by Sagan to Morton saw the Australian assume the race lead.

The first flourishing break of the day saw Michael Schär (BMC Racing Team) go on the attack on the early slopes of the 1st category Independence Pass, and the Swiss rider was joined by Luis Lemus (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) and mountains jersey leader Matt Cooke (Jamis-Hagens Berman). They enjoyed a five minutes lead as Schär led over the top of the climb after 30.8km, and were subsequently accompanied by David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) and Kanstantsin Siutsou (Team Sky) on the rather tricky descent, and the five riders managed to increase their lead to little less than six minutes at the 85km mark.

With 80km still to go, and with the peloton trailing by little more than a minute, Lemus launch an attack. The other four closed the gap quickly but, as the Mexican was finally caught with 75km to go, a 14-rider group broke immediately. The group included Lucas Euser and Jeffry Louder, Andy Schleck, Michael Rogers, Antoine Duchesne (Bontrager), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale); they were picked up soon afterwards, only for another, 15-man group to get clear.

Schleck was once again in the group, with RadioShack-Leopard teammate Tiago Machado, Frank and second overall Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), Morton and Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp), Craddock, Jesse Anthony (Optum), Josh Edmondson (Team Sky), Chad Beyer (Champion System), Bruno Pires (Saxo-Tinkoff), Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare), Phil Gaimon (Bissell), Tyler Wren (Jamis-Hagens Berman), and Davide Villella (Cannondale)

With 50 km to go the group was now four minutes clear but, with only Pires in the leading group, the Saxo-Tinkoff team was giving chase and began to close in on the leaders. As Van Avermaet jumped clear to take the sprint in Fairplay with 42.1km to go, the gap was still 2’25”.

With 30km to go the gap was still 1’40” and, with 27km to go - as the break was falling apart - Morton attacked and attempted to solo home to victory.

Over the top of the climb with 24.1km to go the Australian was 15 seconds ahead of Craddock and Frank, with many from the rest of the break being gradually engulfed by the bunch some two minutes behind the leaders. The two chasers connected with Morton with 17km to go, while Van Avermaet, Schleck, Machado, Pires, Beyer, Wren and Villella were now almost a minute behind as UnitedHealthcare took over the chase at the front of the bunch.

As the leaders began negotiating the Boreas Pass with just over eight kilometres to go, the peloton was reeling in the chase group. Colombia temporarily assisted UnitedHealthcare, but the gap still remained largely unchanged. Morton made an attempt to ditch his companions as the leading trio neared the summit, but it was Frank who managed to attack and get away.


Forty seconds down the road, Sagan himself attacked the peloton, and pulled a small group away as he passed over the top of the climb. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) was glued to the Slovakian’s wheel, with Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) and Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) in close pursuit.

Frank was ten seconds clear of Morton as he entered the final two kilometres, but the Australian was closing in as the road began to level out. The Swiss rider still had plenty of time to sit up and celebrate as he crossed the line, however, to take the victory. Morton took second place, three seconds behind him; Sagan led van Garderen over the line after just 14, but just too late to defend his yellow jersey from Morton.


Resultat, stage 2:
1 Mathias Frank - BMC Racing Team 5.05.19
2 Lachlan David Morton - Garmin-Sharp 0.03
3 Peter Sagan - Cannondale Pro Cycling 0.14
4 Tejay van Garderen - BMC Racing Team
5 Lawson Craddock - Bontrager 0.21
6 Thomas Danielson - Garmin-Sharp 0.32
7 Darwin Atapuma - Colombia 0.33
8 Damiano Caruso - Cannondale Pro Cycling 0.44
9 Michael Schär - BMC Racing Team
10 George Bennett - RadioShack Leopard

General classification:
1 Lachlan David Morton - Garmin-Sharp 7.31.22
2 Mathias Frank - BMC Racing Team 0.02
3 Peter Sagan - Cannondale Pro Cycling 0.11
4 Tejay van Garderen - BMC Racing Team
5 Lawson Craddock - Bontrager 0.18
6 Thomas Danielson - Garmin-Sharp 0.29
7 Darwin Atapuma - Colombia 0.35
8 Damiano Caruso - Cannondale Pro Cycling 0.41
9 Christopher Baldwin - UnitedHealthcare
10 Gregore Brenes Obando - Champion System



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