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“For whatever reason, our directors decided to believe in me from day one, here in Colorado. I came up just short on the first two days… they came onto the bus today, and there was no question on what we were going to do."

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25.08.2014 @ 13:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alex Howes took the first victory of his professional career when he beat his best friend Kiel Reijnen in a photo finish on the final stage of the USA Pro Challenge. The American was relieved to pay back his teammates and management who had believed in him and worked for him all week.

 

When the USA Pro Challenge started in Aspen, Alex Howes was beaten into second by his training partner Kiel Reijnen after the pair had escaped in the finale of the first stage. Today the pair were again involved in a close battle and this time Howes came out on top.

 

After their teams had combined forces all day, the final stage came down to reduced bunch sprint and here the two Americans again battled it out for the stage win. In a photo finish, Howes held off Reijnen after the peloton had brought back Jens Voigt (Trek) who had been on the attack in the final race of his long career.

 

“The emotion that best describes it is pride,” Howes said. “A lot of the Europeans we race with, they don’t really understand what America is. They think it’s Las Vegas, or New York City, or Miami. To me, this is America — big open mountains, little towns… it’s home. It’s beautiful. And having the opportunity to show that off to the world, the opportunity to ride over my home mountain… I was very proud.

 

“For whatever reason, our directors decided to believe in me from day one, here in Colorado. I came up just short on the first two days… they came onto the bus today, and there was no question on what we were going to do. They threw it down, and the team said, ‘okay, we’re going to try.’

 

"The team lit it up for me over Lookout Mountain, had me totally pegged the whole way over, but it’s kind of hard to drop me on my home mountain. They kept it all the way until the line. I really can’t emphasize how much guys like Phil Gaimon, and Janier Acevedo, and Caleb Fairly, even Tom Danielson, those guys are just absolute weapons, and they fired today. This means everything to me.”

 

“We train together all the time,” Howes said, referring to runner-up Reijnen. “You hear people say, ‘Oh yeah, we’re good friends, and we’re training partners,’ but we really are probably best friends. I hate losing to him. I hate beating him. I don’t know what to do with him. But it means a lot to me to be up on the podium with him.”

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