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2012 USA Pro Challenge - Stage 7
 
By Heath Langle
Date: 8/26/2012
2012 USA Pro Challenge - Stage 7
 
In response to the inquiry of who he thought would win Sunday’s individual time trial, and in turn win the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, Garmin-Sharp Manager Jonathan Vaughters posted on Twitter, “My guess for tomorrow? Christian goes faster than Levi. Tejay goes faster than Christian...But who wins the overall? Bet on the dark horse.” I bet you can guess who the dark horse was.

As the day began, Levi Leipheimer (Omega-Pharma-Quickstep) sat atop the leader board with a 9-second cushion over Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) and a 21-second gap on Tejay van Garderen (BMC). One by one the riders rolled from start-house and their finish times recorded. The best time of the day would be recorded by the 26th rider down the ramp, Taylor Phinney (BMC) who would eventually win the day with a blistering time of 17:25 over the 9.5 mile course.

The overall champion would have to be decided by the final three riders. Van Garderen would be the first of the trio to complete the course, and he temporarily held the second best time of the day behind Phinney. The second of the trio, Vande Velde then scorched the course, leaving it a little less crispy than Phinney, to post what would be the second fastest time of the day of 17:35. Leipheimer was the final of the three to ride the course and he needed to put in a hard effort to maintain his cushion over Vande Velde. Leipheimer’s cushion evaporated on course with a performance that would only net him ninth on the day, and lose him an additional 34 seconds to Vande Velde who would be crowned the overall winner of the second USA Pro Challenge.

Van Garderen’s time was good enough to move him ahead of Leipheimer for a second- place finish overall, leaving third place for Leipheimer. Joseph Dombrowski (Bontrager-LiveStrong claimed Best Young Rider with RadioShack-Nissan claiming Best Team. The brute, Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) conquered the mountain classification and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) finished atop the points classification.

Phinney finished off a week of amazing racing with his brilliant individual performance.

RESULTS

1 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:17:25
2 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:00:10
3 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:19
4 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:21
5 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:00:29
6 Tom Zirbel (USA) Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:00:31
7 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:37
8 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:00:40
9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:43
10 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:00:45

Final General Classification

1 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Sharp 25:57:34
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:21
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:24
4 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:01:08
5 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:01:14
6 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan 0:01:24
7 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:01:28
8 Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Nissan 0:01:32
9 Peter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Sharp 0:01:39
10 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team 0:01:40

Final Points Classification

1 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Sharp 33 pts
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 25
3 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi 22
4 Serghei Tvetcov (Mda) Team Exergy 19
5 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 18
6 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Sharp 16
7 Alex Howes (USA) Garmin - Sharp 14
8 Gavin Mannion (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team 12
9 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 12
10 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan 10

Final Mountain Classification

1 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 55 pts
2 Francisco Jarley Colorado Hernandez (Col) EPM - Une 52
3 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Sharp 50
4 Jorge Camilo Castiblanco Cubides (Col) EPM - Une 47
5 Matt Cooke (USA) Team Exergy 26
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 25
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 21
8 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 20
9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 19
10 Rory Sutherland (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team 18

Final Young Rider Classification

1 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team 25:59:10
2 Gavin Mannion (USA) Bontrager Livestrong Team 0:01:17
3 Javier Eduardo Gomez Pineda (Col) EPM - Une 0:01:53
4 George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack-Nissan 0:04:00
5 Eduard Alexander Beltran Suarez (Col) EPM - Une 0:08:10
6 Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:34:44
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:43:56
8 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1 - Sanofi 0:46:54
9 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:50:13
10 Hugo Houle (Can) Spidertech Powered By C10 1:03:51

Final Team Classification

1 RadioShack-Nissan 77:52:16
2 Garmin-Sharp 0:02:58
3 Liquigas-Cannondale 0:07:04
4 EPM-UNE 0:09:18
5 BMC Racing Team 0:10:05
6 Rusvelo 0:17:43
7 Champion System Pro Cycling Team 0:26:12
8 Astana Pro Team 0:30:34
9 Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:41:31
10 Bissell Pro Cycling 0:50:24

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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