11 June 2013

Teams for 2013 USA Pro Challenge announced

Bring on the competition!

The teams were officially announced this morning for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge - you know that pro tour in Colorado in August. When I read through the list of teams I thought one thing - now THIS will be a competition. Set aside the incredible mountain scenery, the good timing of the August race, and the very knowledgeable fans in Colorado - this will be a BIKE RACE. Bring on the competition.

The race: USA Pro Challenge (you can drop Cycling from the name), August 12-19, 2013, eight-day stage race, nearly 600 miles from Aspen to Denver.

The 2013 USA Pro Challenge Cities were announced last December, the 2013 USA Pro Challenge route maps and descriptions released in April. Today race organizers made the big announcement of the teams racing in 2013 with SKY Procycling among the 16 teams - a first for this team in this race, only the second time the team has raced on US soil. Big News!

In fact three teams will be a first for this race: Sky Procycling, COLOMBIA and Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home. Remember the COLOMBIA team raced in the Giro-d'Italia this year and have some serious climbers.

Seven been there-done that-want more teams will be returning for 2013: BMC Racing Team, Team Garmin-Sharp, Cannondale Pro Cycling, RadioShack Leopard Trek, Team Novo Nordisk (formerly Team Type 1), UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling and Bissell Pro Cycling. RadioShack was best team in 2012, Garmin-Sharp held the winner Christian VandeVelde, but BMC has Tejay van Garderen and we all know by now - the kid can ride a bike.

With the top-three teams from last year, plus the teams of the last year's classification jerseys all returning for 2013, race organizers are sending a message that the race is solid. Excellent news.

Fans will be happy to see Jelly Belly p/b/ Kenda back on the list for 2013. After attending the inaugural USA Pro Challenge in 2011, the team missed out in 2012, but now with US National Champion Road Fast Freddie Rodriguez on its team, they are in like Schwinn. 

It is far too early to start naming names and claiming which riders will show up to race, but I would like to officially start my BRING BERNIE TO COLORADO campaign. And if you don't know by now that I am a huge fan of Bernhard Eisel, you will certainly catch on by the time August rolls around.

The teams of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge
(Look for the official teams rosters to be announced in August)

UCI ProTeams

BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA)
RadioShack Leopard Trek (LUX)
Sky Procycling (GBR)
Team Argos-Shimano (NED)
Team Garmin-Sharp (USA)
Team Saxo-Tinkoff (DEN)

UCI Professional Continental Teams

Champion System Pro Cycling Team (CHN)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Team Novo Nordisk (USA)

UCI Continental Teams

Bissell Pro Cycling (USA)
Bontrager Cycling Team (USA)
Optum Presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Jelly Belly p/b Kenda (USA)
Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home (USA)

A word from SKY Procycling:
"We're really looking forward to the USA Pro Challenge,” said Carsten Jeppesen, head of technical operations for Sky Procycling. “It's a great race that has everything.  With climbing, sprints and a time trial, as well as good crowds, it's a mini-Tour – the kind of race we really like. We'll certainly bring a strong team and there are some strong young American riders in Joe (Dombrowski) and Ian (Boswell) who would love to be there in front of their home crowd. It's only our second race in the U.S. and we aim to put on a good show."

USA Pro Cycling:    Website     Facebook    Twitter   YouTube

But here is the big question - will Jens be back?   click any image to enlarge
Jens Voigt wins Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge  ©Photo By Karen at PedalDancer®
Will Christian be back?
Damiano Caruso and Christian Vande Velde sure look like they were enjoying themselves    
©Photo By Karen at PedalDancer®
Will Tejay be back?
Tejay Van Garderen would take yellow this day ©Photo by Ron Long for PedalDancer®
Will Tyler be back?
Tyler Farrar   ©Photo By Karen at PedalDancer®
Will Taylor be back?
Taylor  ©Photo by Ron Long for PedalDancer®
Will Joe be back?
Joe Domrowski  ©Photo By Karen at PedalDancer®
Will Cadel be back?
Cadel Evans  ©Photo By Karen at PedalDancer®
Will Dave be back?
Dave Zabriskie  ©Photo by Laurie Valaer for PedalDancer®
Will Tommy be back? ... or Basso?
Tom Danielson and Ivan Basso ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
And maybe the Timmy Duggan fan club will be back again this year since Saxo-Tinkoff is one of the invited teams.
The Go Timmy Duggan Fan Club (who also happen to be his family)  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
And maybe the Jens Voigt Fan Club will return! Oh this is so exciting.
With the Jens Voigt fan club on Rabbit Ears Pass in Colorado, August 201.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
One thing for sure - the fans will be back!
Fans at the Finish line in Telluride.   ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Fans at the start line in Breckenridge.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Fans having fun   ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
And so will Bissell, and this Bissell baby - one year older.

And so will he - Shawn Hunter - who has been working hard all year (with many other individuals as well) to make this race happen. Thank you.
CEO Shawn Hunter ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Looking back at the race in 2012  - who won:

Final General Classification
1   Christian VandeVelde (GARMIN-SHARP) 25:57:34
2   Tejay van Garderen (BMC RACING) + 0:21
3   Levi Leipheimer (OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP) + 0:24
4   Andreas Kloden (RADIOSHACK-NISSAN) + 1:08
5   Janez Brajkovic (ASTANA) + 1:14
6   Jakob Fuglsang (RADIOSHACK-NISSAN) + 1:24
7   Thomas Danielson (GARMIN-SHARP) + 1:28
8   Matthew Busche (RADIOSHACK-NISSAN) + 1:32
9   Peter Stetina (GARMIN-SHARP) + 1:39
10 Joe Donbrowski (BONTRAGER) + 1:40

* Joe Dombrowski now rides for SKY Procycling, and they are coming to the race!


Yellow ( Overall) - Christian VandeVelde
Green (Sprint) - Tyler Farrar
Red (Mountain) - Jens Voigt
Blue (Young) - Joe Dombrowski

Final Podium
Best Team
Best Team - RadioShack-Nissan-Trek
For more information please read the Pedal Dancer® Fan Guide Page: USA PRO CHALLENGE
Bring Bernhard Eisel to Colorado!