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"I really worked hard for this so it is really satisfying, especially to win such a great race in the state where I live. It is made even better by the fact that we also won the team title."

Photo: Sirotti






25.08.2014 @ 12:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tejay van Garderen made history when he became the first repeat winner of the USA Pro Challenge. The American was pleased to see his sacrifices pay off in a race that is dear to his heart.


Tejay van Garderen won his second straight USA Pro Challenge title Sunday while the BMC Racing Team repeated as team champions of the week-long race in Colorado. Van Garderen's margin of victory was 1:32 over Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) and 1:45 over Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis). BMC Racing Team's Ben Hermans was also in the top 10 in ninth, 3:44 back.


"I really worked hard for this so it is really satisfying, especially to win such a great race in the state where I live," van Garderen said. "It is made even better by the fact that we also won the team title. To be able to celebrate up there on the podium with all of my teammates was a proud moment.


"It was incredible, the crowds were huge in Boulder, and they just got bigger and louder in Denver. To come in here as defending champion and to actually be able to defend the title feels incredible - I had a lot of pressure this week. The boys showed a lot of poise, and we stayed in control. 


"It might have looked convincing, but there were a few moments of panic and some nervous times out there. It was a hard fought victory."


Van Garderen, winner of two stages himself, tried to help teammate Michael Schär win a third by leading him through the final corner of the 126.2-kilometer race that finished in Denver. But Schär was unable to hold off Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp), who nipped Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) at the line as Schär finished third, earning the BMC Racing Team its sixth podium finish of the race.


Van Garderen's victory was his fourth of the season and the BMC Racing Team's 25th this year. He also won the "best Colorado rider" classification ahead of 12 other residents of the state.

The day started with a symbolic appearance on the start line by injured BMC Racing Team rider and reigning U.S. national time trial champion Taylor Phinney, who lives in Boulder, site of the stage start. From there, the BMC Racing Team worked to keep a breakaway in check before bringing the race back together inside the final kilometers.


Schär, who soloed to win a stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah earlier this month, thought he had another one in his sights.


"With 50 meters to go and I thought I had it," the past Swiss national road champion said. "I was on the right side and those two guys came on the left and got me on the line. It is OK, though; I am not a sprinter."


BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said he could not have imagined the race going much better. "Tejay handled the pressure of being defending champion well," Stewart said. "All of the guys rallied around him every day and we showed just how strong we were by winning the team title. I am especially pleased with that achievement."


Members of the winning team alongside Hermans, Schär and van Garderen were Brent Bookwalter, Yannick Eijssen, Martin Kohler – who was runner-up on Stage 4 – Peter Stetina and Rick Zabel.



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