Tuesday 21 August 2012 - 23:36

USA Pro Challenge Stage 2: Leipheimer Top 5 in Final Meter Scramble

USA Pro Challenge Stage 2: Leipheimer Top 5 in Final Meter Scramble

A 12 rider breakaway, which was reduced to a nine rider breakaway in the final kilometers, managed to stay away in the 159.3km USA Pro Challenge Stage 2 on Tuesday until the final kilometer. However, it was the final kilometer in Crested Butte where the fireworks happened, and Levi Leipheimer successfully fought to protect his GC contention.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team) pulled off the race win by countering when the break was caught, with Christian Vandevelde (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda) placing 2nd. Ivan Rovny (RusVelo) was 3rd, and Leipheimer, whose teammates worked hard for him throughout the race, finished 4th.

Tejay van Garderen is the new race leader, and Leipheimer is in 4th place in the GC, 8" back.

Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Matt Brammeier, seeing that OPQS possibly missed the move of the stage, tried to bridge with several other riders earlier in the stage when the 12 rider break was about 7 minutes ahead. However, he quickly sat up and waited for the peloton, and worked tirelessly with his teammates at the front of the peloton to bring the break back instead.

The break held a 2'40" gap with 14km to go, and it became increasingly clear that the break may be able to hold off the strung out peloton. However, in the final kilometers the peloton came roaring back. As Mathias Frank (BMC Racing Team) saw the gap becoming critically small, he tried to go solo. Frank was overtaken by the peloton just inside the 1km to go banner.

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