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.