|On a day overshadowed by the darkness of the clouds above, and the news of Lance Armstrong’s position regarding the USADA’s action against him, Stage 5 of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge took the riders 117.9 miles from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs.
Seven riders including Ivan Santaromita (BMC) Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), Oliver Zaugg (RadioShack-Nissan), Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Astana), Sergey Firsanov (RusVelo), Carter Jones (Bissell), and Biao Liu (Champion System) managed an early break. But, UnitedHealthcare took control of the front of the peloton to give their sprinter Jake Keough a crack at going head-to-head with Garmin's Tyler Farrar.
Garmin-Sharp shared the workload with UnitedHealthcare and the gap to the seven-man breakaway came down with each mile pedaled. The peloton captured the breakaway inside the city limits of Colorado Springs on the first of three circuits around the city. Zaugg, Nibali and Firsanov launched an attack off the front of the race at 25 km to go looking for a stage win. BMC, with George Hincapie on the front, took control of the peloton in an effort to keep their man Tejay van Garderen in yellow, and reeled in the break. The stage was now set for a fast finish.
In the final 100 meters it appeared Farrar was boxed in, but he managed to squirt his way from the group, coming from an inside-third position to take the win with ease. Taylor Phinney finished second, while Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1-Sanofi) managed third.
Stage 6 sees the riders from Golden to Boulder on a 102.8 mile route with a couple nice climbs and then an uphill finish. Tomorrow will set the stage for Sunday’s 9.5 mile individual time trial in Denver. Should Tejay van Garderen and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) still share the same time at the beginning of the time trial, the route will favor van Garderen who may claim his first stage-race victory.
1 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Sharp 3:58:27|
2 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
3 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi
4 Alexander Candelario (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
5 Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10
6 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
7 Alex Howes (USA) Garmin - Sharp
8 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
9 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
10 Robigzon Leandro Oyola Oyola (Col) EPM - Une
General Classification after Stage 5
1 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 21:32:45
2 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp
3 Ivan Rovny (Rus) RusVelo 0:00:06
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:08
5 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:00:12
6 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team
7 Ramiro Rincon Diaz (Col) EPM - Une 0:00:13
8 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:00:15
9 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:17
10 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
About the author: A trial attorney by trade, Heath Langle returned to bicycle racing after a 12-year hiatus in order to achieve his lifetime goal of becoming a failed Masters category racer. He is a member of the Sacramento Golden Wheelmen Bicycle Racing Team, and a former college basketball player. He is a native Californian, who also earned a Masters Degree in Business, and is a freelance writer and contributor to The Daily Peloton.
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