24 August 2012

A Day at the Race in Beaver Creek

A Day at the Race in Beaver Creek - 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge

It would be the second mountain top finish of the stage race and Stage 4 was a day where fans could see both the start and the finish in the same day. Some fans chose to climb Independence Pass again from the West side to be at the first KOM. Those fans received a pleasant surprise to see Jens Voigt in an epic solo breakaway. Other fans were on Tennessee Pass or Battle Mountain.

I was one of the many fans who saw the start in Aspen, then joined the caravan of team buses, cars, supply trucks, and staff members on the 2-hour drive to Beaver Creek. I certainly was not alone and those of us who made the drive had a complete day of bike racing. At one point I looked over, while driving on I-70, at a white Event Staff van to notice the 2 Podium Girls, Leah and Holly, driving themselves down the road. We were all heading to the same place and the excitement was real.

Once we arrived, fans were able to catch a shuttle bus to the mountain top from various parking lots at the base of town (although I was a bit confused trying to find the Rodeo Parking Lot, I had gotten spoiled by following the green Media signs into towns, we need to have colored "Event parking" signs as well. Eventually a few of the wonderful volunteers that make this race possible guided me into my parking spot and pointed the way to the bus. Easy enough.

I thought Beaver Creek resort was a fantastic location for a mountain top finish. Ton of cyclists were riding their bikes to the top. The weather was good until a light rain started shortly after the finish. The rain didn't matter much and those who stayed were treated to a free excellent concert by Chris Duarte in the New Belgium beer garden, one of the highlights of the week for me. Did anyone catch the Los Angeles-based '70s cover band Anthem in the park in Aspen last night? That was great fun too - they even ended the night by playing Free Bird - Free Bird?! So far the events in each Host City have been great.
In Beaver Creek
After the morning start in Aspen (read: A Day at the Race in Aspen), Fans could take the bus to the top of Beaver Creek Ski resort to watch the finish in Beaver Creek - are you one of these fans?
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Fans at the top at the festival and waiting for Jens Voigt to succeed in his solo breakaway
Enjoying the festival area   ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
A fan having fun with the Cannondale Girls (and bikes) in the Cannondale booth at the Festival
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
This was Jen's final view to the finish line
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
The Go Timmy Duggan Fan Club (who also happen to be his family)
Happy fans
At the finish in Beaver Creek
Jens at the finish in Beaver Creek
Jens Voigt wins Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Andreas Kloden and Tejay van Garderen push for the line taking 2nd and 3rd.
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
On the approach to the finish line - Photos by Ron Long
©Photo by Ron Long for PedalDancer.com
©Photo by Ron Long for PedalDancer.com
©Photo by Ron Long for PedalDancer.com
Ivan Basso   ©Photo by Ron Long for PedalDancer.com
David Zabriskie and Ryler Farrar   ©Photo by Ron Long for PedalDancer.com
The road was so steep and the riders so tired many were being pushed up after they crossed the line. Here Georges of team BMC gives a momentarily exhausted Tejay a hand to continue rolling.
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Race Director Jim Birrell pushing Mathew Busche just past the finish line
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Tom Danielson in his climbers jersey
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Jens Voigt in his well earned Most Aggressive Jersey ....oh, and Podium Girls Leah and Holly!
Jens Voigt and the Podium Girls  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
A happy Tejay van Garderen triumphant in stage 4 claiming the overall race lead and the yellow jersey.
Tejay van Garderen    ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com

Keeping up with Training Peaks: TrainingPeaks' analysis of Stage 4 of the USAPC, featuring Jens Voigt's winning file! Full analysis here: http://bit.ly/SugBIp

Results Stage 4 from the desk of Nicole Okoneski
·         First Place – Jens Voigt (GER) of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek
·         Second Place – Andreas Kloden (GER) of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek
·         Third Place – Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team

·         Exergy Leader Jersey – Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team
·         Waste Management Sprint Jersey – Damiano Caruso (ITA) of Liquigas-Cannondale
·         Nissan King of the Mountains Jersey – Tom Danielson (USA) of Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda
·         Aquadraat Best Young Rider Jersey – Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) of Bontrager Livestrong Team
·         Evolve Most Aggressive Rider Jersey – Jens Voigt (GER) of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek

Visit the official race website at: www.ProCycling.com

Tomorrow - to Breckenridge for Stage 5 ... see you there