Photo Essay | Stage Seven | USA Pro Challenge | Golden to Denver

The men’s team concluded the USA Pro Challenge with once final massive summit on Lookout Mountain, followed by a descent into downtown Denver for a four-lap finishing circuit. Guillaume Boivin finished 7th in the bunch sprint, the teams second straight top-ten finish. With only four riders remaining in the race, the team lacked crucial horsepower on the lightning-fast circuits to solidify the leadout necessary to contest the win.

“It was actually the first real bunch kick we’ve had all week – we really would have liked a good shot at the line,” said Performance Director Jonas Carney. “The reason I brought Eric Young to this race was to win this stage, and unfortunately he had an accident a few days ago and was forced to withdraw. Sometimes you have to gamble on bringing a pure sprinter to a race like this and when they aren’t able to make it, that can hurt the team. We went for it with Guillaume today, and he got a bit gapped off – with about 500 meters to go, a rider sat up in front of him and he was out of position for the finish.”

Carney recapped a rough week at times for the team in Colorado, with moments of positives and loads of extra difficulty thanks to the race’s uncompromising high altitudes.

“When you have stages starting at 9,000 feet, and going up over 11,000, it is exponentially more difficult at those altitudes. Its tough to recover, hard tot sleep, hard to recover between efforts and just day to day it really wears on you. That’s why you see guys falling apart at an event like this. Some of our best climbers weren’t here at the race, as we were aiming for results in Utah and the Tour of Alberta, and we definitely suffered this week. But we contested stages, held the KOM jersey for two days and had a lot of time in the breakaway, so there were a lot of positives as well. It’s great experience for more hard stage racing ahead.”

Women Complete USA Pro Challenge With Golden Criterium

The third stage of the first-ever Women’s USA Pro Challenge covered classic territory at the base of Lookout Mountain in downtown Golden. Lex Albrecht contested the bunch sprint after an hour plus three laps of racing, finishing 14th. The women can now rest after nearly six weeks of racing beginning in Europe and finishing with the Golden Criterium, before refocusing on the UCI World Championship Team Time Trial later this year.

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It's captioned a lot and talked about on the loundspeakers every day at the race, but Tom Zirbel's build is one in a million. It's like he had a bike in the womb.

It’s captioned a lot and talked about on the loundspeakers every day at the race, but Tom Zirbel’s build is one in a million. It’s like he had a bike in the womb.

Pierrick Naud is a first-year pro with the team and stage seven marked his back-to-back completion of two of the toughest climbing stage races in the country, the Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge. Quite an introduction for the young sprinter.

Pierrick Naud is a first-year pro with the team and stage seven marked his back-to-back completion of two of the toughest climbing stage races in the country, the Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge. Quite an introduction for the young sprinter.

Lex Albrecht flies through a corner in downtown Golden during the women's criterium. Lex finished 14th in the sprint.

Lex Albrecht flies through a corner in downtown Golden during the women’s criterium. Lex finished 14th in the sprint.

Stage 7 of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge, Golden to Denver. Stage 7 of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge, Golden to Denver. Stage 7 of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge, Golden to Denver.
The throng awaits on Lookout Mountain, with the most stunning vistas of the race.

The throng awaits on Lookout Mountain, with the most stunning vistas of the race.

Jonas Carney's new puppy

Jonas Carney’s new puppy

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The three remaining sprinters, Guillaume Boivin, Ryan Anderson, and Naud, try to stay together on the closing circuits in Denver. Unforuntately they were denied a chance at a cohesive leadout.

The three remaining sprinters, Guillaume Boivin, Ryan Anderson, and Naud, try to stay together on the closing circuits in Denver. Unforuntately they were denied a chance at a cohesive leadout.

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Closing up shop in the team trailer. Bikes were cleaned and shined, and things were hastily packed for the journey north to Alberta.

Closing up shop in the team trailer. Bikes were cleaned and shined, and things were hastily packed for the journey north to Alberta.

Master of his domain. Vince Gee.

Master of his domain. Vince Gee.

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