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“Everyone is scared about tomorrow’s stage. Not just us, the entire race is scared. We will try to do our best. There are still four days left and we will keep trying.”





20.08.2015 @ 10:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wednesday’s Stage 3 of the USA Pro Challenge kicked off in Copper Mountain and featured three categorized climbs, including Independence Pass at 3,687 meters, before a downhill finish into Aspen.


“This is by far the hardest race of the entire season,” Team Novo Nordisk’s Charles Planet said. “There is so much climbing and the altitude only increases. It really allows no time to recover. All I can say is that this year’s USA Pro Challenge is much, much, much harder than last year.”


Several riders attempted to get away early into the 163.2-kilometer stage, but it wasn’t until the race summited the day’s first category climb that an 11-man break formed. With the overall classification still up for grabs, the break never gained more than three and a half minutes on the day. Heading up Independence Pass, the peloton increased the pace causing many riders to fall off the back. All breakaway riders were reeled in before the summit, and the front group was down to only a dozen riders. Several riders caught back on as they descended into Aspen with Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) winning a reduced bunch sprint.


“The tempo was really high from the start of the first climb and never let up all day,” Team Novo Nordisk’s Kevin De Mesmaeker said. “After the first climb, the four of us all rode together until we reached Independence Pass. Once we got above 3,000 meters, each of us had to find our own pace. My legs were so tired that even the descent was painful.”


Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) took the win ahead of Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) and Ruben Zepuntke (Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team).


Team Novo Nordisk continues racing on Thursday with the Queen Stage of the USA Pro Challenge. Stage 4 is 208-km long and begins with another 32-km climb up Independence Pass followed by ascents over Trout Creek Pass and Hoosier Pass before an uphill finish into Breckenridge.


“Everyone is scared about tomorrow’s stage. Not just us, the entire race is scared,” Planet said. “We will try to do our best. There are still four days left and we will keep trying.”



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