With just three stages remaining in the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, the race returns to Breckenridge for a key Stage 5 finish Friday. Only the Vail Time Trial and Boulder-to-Denver stages remain following the finish in Breck.
With BMC’s Tejay van Garderen holding on to a slim overall lead and Garmin-Sharp’s Tom Danielson still in the chase, Friday could be critical to the General Classificaton standings. Serghei Tvetcov from the underdog Jelly Belly UCI continental team will also be a rider to watch. Tvetcov finished third in each of the last two stages and is currently fifth overall, 37 seconds behind van Garderen. Friday’s stage will start in Woodland Park — a new host community for the race now in its fourth year. Riders will pass through Pike National Forest on the recently paved Tarryall Road and make their way through Fairplay and Alma on their way toward Breckenridge. This will be another day for climbers with a steady gain through most of the 104-mile course, culminating with a trip over 11,539-foot Hoosier Pass — the highest point of this year’s race. But the climbing won’t stop there. Following the long descent from Hoosier through Blue River, riders will face one more challenge with the return of the steep grade on Moonstone Road — featured in previous years. This section could once again be a deciding factor in the stage’s final miles. Stage 5 will include just one sprint section through Fairplay, and two King of the Mountain sections — on Hoosier Pass and Boreas Pass Road.
Friday’s stage starts at 11:20 a.m. with an expected finish time at around 3:50 p.m. Live race coverage will be broadcast on NBCSN from 1:30 to 4 p.m.; an evening recap runs from 8-9 p.m. The race can also be streamed online at www. usaprocyclingchallenge.com