Stage 1 Results
|General Classification||King of the Mountain||Sprint|
|Best Young Rider||Most Aggressive||Team|
||Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
STAGE 1, Durango to Telluride
Rolling out just down the road from Fort Lewis College, the alma mater of pre-race favorite Tom Danielson (Team Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda), the USA Pro Challenge peloton broke apart less than 12km into the stage following the first intermediate sprint. Three groups of danger men were soon all vying for a shot at an early advantage. Heading up the first KOM at Hesperus, significant representation was seen from Garmin, Team BMC, and Liquigas-Cannondale, as well as several pro continental squads such as Bissell, Optum p/b Kelly Benefit, Team Exergy and EPM-Une.
When the leaders felt slightly threatened following the day’s second sprint point, it was 2012 Tour de France third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) who launched the first of several attacks en route to the daunting forty-plus-mile climb up Lizard Head Pass. A select group of ten riders in the break whittled down to two as the leaders approached the 10,000-plus-foot summit. Tom Danielson went mano-a-mano with Eduard Alexander Beltran Suarez of EPM-Une, a Colombian rider and strong climber. Behind them UnitedHealthcare put in the lion’s share of the work at the front of the field hoping in earnest that with a narrowing gap, their best chance for the day was a sprint finish into the town of Telluride.
Danielson reached the top alone and made a bid for victory when he was joined by teammate Peter Stetina along with Nibali and Beltran. The duo from the “Argyle Armada,” however, shook off the competition and focused on the finish line. But for all their efforts, the peloton gathered enough steam to sweep them up just before the finale. Garmin still had one card left to play as they entered the quiet ski town of Telluride. Tyler Farrar snapped a yearlong dry spell with a strategic move before the line, getting the better of Team Type 1’s Alessandro Bazzana and Liquigas-Cannondale’s Damiano Caruso.
Start City: Durango
Finish City: Telluride