Tag Archives: andy schleck

USA Pro Challenge: Stage 4 Notes and Quotes

The Queen Stage of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge presented the riders with a challenging day, starting in Beaver Creek, that included five climbs and ended in a downpour of rain. In a show of strength, Columbian climber Janier Alexis Acevedo of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home powered up the road to Beaver Creek to take the stage win. Following just behind was Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team who will now wear yellow heading into the Individual Time Trial tomorrow in Vail.

“Today was one of the most exciting days of racing we’ve had so far,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “The number of attacks out there and the competitive level of racing we’re seeing from these pros is definitely keeping things interesting.”

Stage 4 began today in Steamboat Springs with a neutral start that was cheered on by large crowds of spectators lining the streets.

“Colorado has really come out to support the USA Pro Challenge,” added Hunter. “Every city we visit and pass through along the route has fans out on the street cheering for the riders. It’s impressive.”

The race kicked into high gear jumping to speeds of 40 mph at the official race start on the edge of town. As with the other days of the race thus far, attacks started coming from the get-go. An initial attempt from Tour de France Champions Chris Froome (GBR) of Sky Procycling (2013) and Andy Schleck (LUX) of RadioShack Leopard Trek (2010) was unsuccessful and was reeled back in within a few minutes.

Shortly after, a group of nine riders pulled away. As some were dropped and others joined, the group got situated to include Timmy Duggan (USA) and Mick Rogers (AUS) of Team Saxo-Tinkoff, Danny Pate and (USA) Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR) of Sky Procycling, Tony Gallopin (FRA) of RadioShack Leopard Trek, Lawrence Warbasse (USA) of BMC Racing Team, Davide Villella (ITA) of Cannondale Pro Cycling, Matt Cooke (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home, and Serghei Tvetcov (MDA) of Jelly Belly p/b Kenda.

With about six miles until the first Nissan King of the Mountains (KOM) competition of the day, Jason McCartney (USA) of Bissell Pro Cycling made a move to bridge the gap up to the break, but wouldn’t be able to make the catch until later in the race.

Heading up the Category 4 climb at CR 27, Cooke led the way, reaching the top first and adding to his lead in the KOM Jersey competition, followed by Villella and Duggan. Charging at high speeds down into the small town of Oak Creek, the break approached the first and only Clif Bar sprint of the day. Siutsou barreled through the line first, followed by Warbasse and Duggan.

Heading uphill and through the Feed Zone, the riders started the ascent of the second Nissan KOM competition, a Category 4 climb at CO 131. Cooke reached the top first in an uncontested effort to increase his hold on the KOM Jersey, followed by Pate and Tvetcov.

During the descent, the break started losing time to the chasing peloton, reaching just under three minutes as they hit the valley floor. But as the peloton got closer to the top of the KOM, the gap increased again. Sensing the fate of the break, Siutsou seized the moment and attacked. He was joined by Gallopin, Warbasse, Rogers and Villella.

As they continued approaching the third Nissan KOM competition of the day, again a Category 4 at CO131, Pate and McCartney were reabsorbed by the Garmin-led peloton. This time Gallopin crested the climb first, followed by Siutsou and Rogers. On the 15-mile stretch through the valley leading into the biggest climb of the stage at Bachelor Gulch, Duggan lost contact with the chase, leaving just Tvetcov and Cooke in pursuit of the five ahead, but before long they were caught as well.

With just about 25 miles left to the uphill finish line in Beaver Creek, the peloton starting pushing the pace, with various teams jumping to the front in an effort to eventually reel back in the break. On a false flat leading into the fourth Nissan KOM competition of the day, Team Garmin-Sharp and BMC Racing Team controlled the front of the peloton, with lots of shuffling going on in the bunch as everyone got into position.

The tough climb up Bachelor Gulch really affected the riders, splitting them up into several groups, shattering the field. On the ascent, Rogers attacked the break, followed by Warbasse, leaving Gallopin and Villella chasing behind, and Siutsou falling back to the main group. But in the final three miles of the climb, Warbasse lost contact as well. The climb continued to break apart the riders leaving Rogers out front, followed by three chasers, then eight additional riders, followed by the peloton, and then the grupetto trying to hang on. As things continued to shake up, Mathias Frank (SUI) of BMC Racing Team, van Garderen, Tom Danielson (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp and Acevedo, formed the group chasing down Rogers, which eventually they did and then proceeded to drop him on the climb.

“That thing (Bachelor Gultch) is incredible,” said Cooke. “I’m just impressed that anyone can ride up that pretty fast. It was steep and one heck of a course.”

Powering over the top, Danielson led, with van Garderen and Acevedo following. Now, with just more than seven miles to go until the finish in Beaver Creek, the pressure was building. On the descent, Acevedo attacked and was challenged by van Garderen, leaving Danielson, and eventually Frank, chasing just a few seconds back. Behind them a group of eight, including race leader Lachlan David Morton (AUS) of Team Garmin-Sharp was keeping pace at only about 30 seconds back.

“The biggest challenge was the bottom of Bachelor Gulch. It was an insanely hard tempo,” said van Garderen.

As the rain began to pound down on the riders, van Garderen and Acevedo powered through the final climb, lined with eagerly awaiting fans, to the finish line in Beaver Creek. Acevedo eventually took the stage, followed by van Garderen and 13 seconds later, Frank.

“I felt very good and confident,” said Acevedo. “I had to go as easy as I could going downhill, taking as little risk possible going around corners. I had a tremendous day today and I felt good about it. For me to win today is just amazing.”

The biggest change in today’s jerseys was van Garderen taking the Smashburger Leader Jersey. Rogers was awarded theFirstBank Most Courageous Rider Jersey for his work in the breaks. Several jerseys remain unchanged, including the Clif Bar Sprint Jersey (Peter Sagan (SVK) of Cannondale Pro Cycling), Nissan King of the Mountains Jersey (Cooke) and Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey (Morton).

STAGE 5 TOMORROW:

Friday, Aug. 23 – Vail Individual Time Trial (16.1 km/10 mi)

Start Time: 1:05 p.m. MT

Estimated Finish Time: 3:50 p.m. MT

Satellite Feed Time: 4:30-4:45 p.m. MT

The last time the USA Pro Challenge visited Vail, the Time Trial was decided by 58 hundredths of a second. Competition will be equally fierce this time around, but the names may change a bit. The course’s roots are in Colorado racing lore and trace back to the Coors Classic. Starting in Vail and climbing most of the way up Vail Pass, the route is no easy proposition, even for the best racers on earth. The gentle grades of the first half of the course give way to a steady climb for the last three miles. But it takes more than legs on this strategic course; go too hard early and the climb may kill your chances, but conserve too much for the climb and the leaderboard may be out of reach.

How to Watch the 2013 USA Pro Challenge

Fans can view the race on the daily NBC Sports Network and NBC broadcasts.  Stage 5 will air live on NBC Sports tomorrow at 2 p.m. MT.

In addition to the broadcast, fans can follow the 2013 USA Pro Challenge with the Tour Tracker. Available on the race website, as well as through a free download on iTunes and Google Play, the Tour Tracker includes:

  • Live video coverage of the last two hours of every stage
  • Up-to-the-minute text updates during the race
  • GPS tracking and interactive maps
  • Daily results and overall standings
  • Photo feed from the race
  • Stage previews, including overviews, maps and profiles
  • Team and rider listings

For full results, archived footage, GPS data, course information, race play-by-play and more, please visit the official race website www.prochallenge.com.

2013 USA Pro Challenge: Stage 2 Recap

Stage 2 of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge professional cycling race took riders to extraordinary heights on the route from Aspen to Breckenridge. At 126.1 miles, the stage, which was punctuated by three Nissan King of the Mountains (KOM) competitions and two Clif Bar sprint lines, tested the riders’ strength and endurance in the mountains of Colorado. An impressive turnout of fans welcomed and cheered on the cyclists as they hit the streets of Breckenridge, where Mathias Fränk (SUI) of BMC Racing Team ultimately took home the win.

“The level of racing that we saw during today’s stage of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge shows that these guys are here to win,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “The crowds lining the route from Aspen to Breckenridge were amazing, and the enthusiasm and support up on the mountain passes is truly a sight to see.”

Following two neutral laps around the City of Aspen under bright blue skies, the riders were off for Stage 2 of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, which would provide a harsh introduction to the mountainous terrain of Colorado with three big Nissan King of the Mountains (KOM) competitions. After a series of unsuccessful initial attacks, Michael Schär (SUI) of BMC Racing Team finally launched one that stuck. He was soon joined by Matt Cooke (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home and Luis Lemus (MEX) of Jelly Belly p/b Kenda.

The gap continued to grow as the riders climbed the familiar battleground of Independence Pass, which at 12,000 ft. is the highest point reached in any professional cycling race. The well-known, epic climb drew fans from all around the world to cheer on the riders as they suffered to the top. With enthusiastic costumed fans running alongside, Schär crested the pass first, followed by Cooke and Lemus.

Leading into the approach to the Feed Zone, hitting speeds of more than 35 mph, David Millar (GBR) of Team Garmin-Sharp and Kanstantin Siutsou (BLR) of Sky Procycling pulled away from the peloton to start the chase and eventually reached the three out front to form a break of five riders. As they zoomed through Buena Vista and crossed the first Clif Bar sprint line of the day, Lemus hit the line first, then Schär and Millar.

A little more than three hours into the race, as the course prepared to turn back uphill, the peloton hit the gas and with RadioShack Nissan Trek and Cannondale Pro Cycling leading the way, they began to close the gap, eventually swallowing up the break. Soon after though a new break was formed with 13 riders pulling away, including:

  • Rohan Dennis (AUS) of Team Garmin-Sharp
  • Lachlan David Morton (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp
  • Joshua Edmondson (GBR) of Sky Procycling
  • Andy Schleck (LUX) of RadioShack Leopard Trek
  • Tiago Machado (POR) of RadioShack Leopard Trek
  • Mathias Fränk (SWI) of BMC Racing Team
  • Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) of BMC Racing Team
  • Bruno Pires (POR) of Team Saxo-Tinkoff
  • Davide Villella (ITA) of Cannondale Pro Cycling
  • Chad Beyer (USA) of Champion System Pro Cycling Team
  • Christopher Jones (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
  • Phil Gaimon (USA) of Bissell Pro Cycling
  • Lawson Craddock (USA) of Bontrager Cycling Team
  • Tyler Wren (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home
  • Jesse Anthony (USA) of Optum Presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies

“We just had to have representation in the breakaway because it’s always better to be in front than to be chasing,” said Morton. “We put two in it, which took the pressure off the other guys.”

As the break approached the second and final sprint of the day in Fairplay, Van Avermaet attacked and crossed the line first, followed by Schleck and Beyer. With two more climbs and 26 miles to go to the finish in Breckenridge, it was still anybody’s stage.

On the climb up to the next Nissan KOM competition of the day at Hoosier Pass, riders began to drop off the break.  Morton however saw an opportunity and started pulling away to take the maximum KOM points, followed by Fränk and Craddock. Taking the descent at speeds around 50 mph, the three riders grouped together with a few members of the original break following behind and the peloton still on the chase.

Reaching the final Nissan KOM of the day at Boreas Pass, Fränk rode through the sea of fans to crest the summit first, followed by Morton and Craddock. Now, with only 2.5 miles to go, the pressure was really on. Knowing it was now or never, Peter Sagan (SVK) of Cannondale Pro Cycling, Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team, Tom Danielson (USA) of Team Garmin-Sharp and Darwin Atapuma (COL) of COLOMBIA made a move out of the peloton to catch the break. And in a sprint through Breckenridge, Fränk took the stage win, followed close behind by Morton and Sagan.

“I really had one shot, and today I knew that I could make it there on the short, steep climb,” said Fränk. “I definitely had the plan to go for the stage win today. The altitude here really got to me. I really had to go super deep there at the finish. Now I have a stage win here and I’m really happy with that.”

In the race for the jerseys, Morton claimed the Smashburger Leader Jersey and the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey. Sagan held onto the Clif Bar Sprint Jersey, as did Cooke to the Nissan King of the Mountains Jersey. The FirstBank Most Courageous Rider Jersey went to Fränk for his impressive racing.

STAGE 3 TOMORROW:

Wednesday, Aug. 21 – Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs (170.4 km/105.9 mi)

Start Time: 12:10 a.m. MT

Estimated Finish Time: 4:30 p.m. MT

Satellite Feed Time: 5:30-5:45 p.m. MT

Stage 3 will be difficult to predict for even the biggest cycling fans. Can the climbers hold off the field or can the sprinters hang on? Stage 3 of this year’s USA Pro Challenge is wide open for the taking. After leaving Breckenridge, Swan Mountain Rd. provides a great launch pad for breakaways as the riders weave north to Kremmling, but it’s all just a prelude to the day’s main showdown on Rabbit Ears Pass. Climbing the challenging eastern slope will give the climbers a chance, but they will have to hold off the sprinters for 20 miles after cresting the top as they head downtown Steamboat Springs. Can they do it? Or will there be a repeat of 2011’s thrilling and monstrous field sprint?

How to Watch the 2013 USA Pro Challenge

Fans can view the race on the daily NBC Sports Network and NBC broadcasts.  Stage 3 will air live on NBC Sports tomorrow at 3 p.m. MT.

In addition to the broadcast, fans can follow the 2013 USA Pro Challenge with the Tour Tracker. Available on the race website, as well as through a free download on iTunes and Google Play, the Tour Tracker includes:

  • Live video coverage of the last two hours of every stage
  • Up-to-the-minute text updates during the race
  • GPS tracking and interactive maps
  • Daily results and overall standings
  • Photo feed from the race
  • Stage previews, including overviews, maps and profiles
  • Team and rider listings

For full results, archived footage, GPS data, course information, race play-by-play and more, please visit the official race website www.prochallenge.com.

Radioshack for Upcoming Races

Radioshack has announced its teams for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and the Vuelta a Espana

USA Pro Challenge (USA), UCI 2.HC, August 19-25:

Riders: George Bennett, Tony Gallopin, Ben King, Andreas Klöden, Tiago Machado, Hayden Roulston, Andy Schleck & Jens Voigt.

Directors: Kim Andersen & Alain Gallopin.

Vuelta a España (Spain), UCI WorldTour, August 24-September 15:

Riders: Matthew Busche, Fabian Cancellara, Ben Hermans, Chris Horner, Markel Irizar, Robert Kiserlovski, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast & Haimar Zubeldia.

Directors: José Azevedo & Josu Larrazabal.

Andy and Frank Schleck to reunite with 2014 Trek-backed team

Let me just go on the record right now and say that this is a bad idea. Trek just got themselves clear of one doper, now they’re lining up to support another one. Frank needs to be off racing for Christina Watches or some other doper sanctuary, not a World Tour team. And if Andy wants to follow him down the drain, that’s fine to0.

I’ll also man up and say that I was wrong. I thought that it was Trek behind his dismissal from the Radioshack Leopard Trek squad, not existing management. My thought was that they wouldn’t want to touch Frank with a ten foot pole and exercised their influence on Leopard SA to break his contract.

Trek Bicycle has added Andy and Fränk Schleck to the brand’s 2014 WorldTour team roster. The talented duo will reunite under the Trek banner, headlining the team throughout the racing season including the Ardennes Classics and Grand Tours. The Schlecks are the team’s latest signing, after Fabian Cancellara announced earlier this month that he would race for the team beginning next year.

“We’re very excited to add two riders that bring the race experience and professionalism that Andy and Fränk both have,” said Trek VP Joe Vadeboncoeur. “We’ve built a strong relationship with them in the past few years, and we can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together next season”

“Andy and I feel very similar about Trek,” said Fränk Schleck about the signing. “We have a good relationship and we hold Trek in our hearts. They supported me throughout the rough period I have been through – from the people on the road to the top management. We wanted to return this confidence and trust by signing on to their new project.”

“I’m happy to re-sign with the Trek family and be a part of this project. The jersey of the team may be different but I’m happy that a large part of this team will remain intact,” said Andy Schleck. “I’m really looking forward to the future with this team.”

Trek is currently in the process of building the 2014 team roster. Additional riders and team partners will be announced when appropriate.

Schlecks to Trek

Trek Bicycle has added Andy and Fränk Schleck to the brand’s 2014 WorldTour team roster. The talented duo will reunite under the Trek banner, headlining the team throughout the racing season including the Ardennes Classics and Grand Tours. The Schlecks are the team’s latest signing, after Fabian Cancellara announced earlier this month that he would race for the team beginning next year.

“We’re very excited to add two riders that bring the race experience and professionalism that Andy and Fränk both have,” said Trek VP Joe Vadeboncoeur. “We’ve built a strong relationship with them in the past few years, and we can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together next season”

“Andy and I feel very similar about Trek,” said Fränk Schleck about the signing. “We have a good relationship and we hold Trek in our hearts. They supported me throughout the rough period I have been through – from the people on the road to the top management. We wanted to return this confidence and trust by signing on to their new project.”

“I’m happy to re-sign with the Trek family and be a part of this project. The jersey of the team may be different but I’m happy that a large part of this team will remain intact,” said Andy Schleck. “I’m really looking forward to the future with this team.”

Trek is currently in the process of building the 2014 team roster. Additional riders and team partners will be announced when appropriate.