Subscribe by email

Q&A with Hal Higdon

Each week, coach and author, Hal Higdon answers your questions about running. Here's the latest:

« Gear's Thoughts: It Really Was Nice to Meet You! | Main | Comparing 4 Riders During the Queen Stage at USA Pro Cycling Challenge »
Wednesday
Aug312011

USA Pro Cycling Challenge Recap

Last week, the TrainingPeaks team spent their days following the USA Pro Cycling Challenge across Colorado, through some of the most beautiful parts of the state.  This was the first year for the USAPCC and we're excited to have partnered with the event to bring a world-class cycling race to our home state.  In addition to being its inagural year, the USAPCC is the only race in American cycling history to have the entire TdF podium present and racing.

To say it was a memorable and exciting week is an understatement.  We had a great time meeting lots of our current customers who came out to watch the race and had lots of opportunities to talk to new faces about what TrainingPeaks is and how it can work for them.  We handed out thousands of cowbells, bottles of sunscreen, sunglasses, stickers, t-shirts, and other prizes.  If you had a chance to stop by and say Hi, thank you!  If we missed you, hopefully we'll get a chance to get together in the future.

And as usual, we were collecting and analyzing power files from top riders each and every day.  If you missed any of the data (or some of our funny video blogs), here's a recap of the week.

 

2011 USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE

Before the race...


Prologue: Monday, August 22 (Garden of the Gods to CO Springs -- 5.18mi)

The only totally downhill stage.  The winner, 24 year old time-trial specialist, Patrick Gretsch (HTC), was a bit of a surprise.  The course was slightly technical, with a tough left turn leading into the final four miles and Gretsch was aggressive where other GC contenders weren’t (he says, because he knew he had a chance at winning the Prologue, but probably not any other stages).

Race Files:

[VIDEO] Rory Sutherland (UHC) previews the Prologue.

 


Stage 1:  Tuesday, August 23 (Salida to Crested Butte -- 99.4mi)

The first stage was just under 100 miles with an uphill finish, topping out at over 9,000ft. Lots of guys were hurting after this day – it seemed like many were having trouble adjusting to the altitude (except the Columbian team, Gobernacion, who put 4 riders in the top 13 that day).  Many attacked too early and ran out of steam. Levi Leipheimer attacked at just the right time and took the stage win and the yellow jersey.

Race Files:


[VIDEO] Stage 1 TP Video Blog.

[VIDEO] Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) previews Stage 1.
 
 

Stage 2 (Queen Stage): Wednesday, August 24 (Gunnison to Aspen -- 130mi)

There was a nasty crash (the only real one of the race) when the riders piled up as they hit a cattleguard approaching Cottonwood Pass. Daniele Callegarin was the worst-injured with facial lacerations and two broken hands. Two climbs over 12,000 feet challenged ALL of the riders and mother nature played a nasty role, adding in wind, rain, and chilly temperatures to make the massive descents even more daunting.  Twenty-three year old Tejay Van Garderen punched it DOWN Independence Pass on the way into Aspen to separate from the group, but George Hincape got the stage win (his first major victory since 2009!) through a well-timed sprint to the finish. Tejay came in second and claimed the yellow jersey.

Race Files:

 

Stage 3 (Time Trial): Thursday, August 25 (Vail -- 10mi)

For the uphill individual time trial, Christian Van de Velde set a fast time and led the race until Leipheimer finished a mere .58 seconds ahead of him.  Van Garderen finished :51 seconds behind Leipheimer and gave up the yellow jersey to Levi.  Tom Danielson, who suffered from food poisoning the night before the TT put up an impressive 9th after what sounded like a hellish night.

Race Files:

 

[VIDEO] Stage 3 TP Video Blog.


Stage 4: Friday, August 26 (Avon to Steamboat Springs -- 82.8mi) 

AP PhotoThe race took just over three hours and ended in a bunched, downhill sprint to the finish, where 22 year old Elia Viviani took the win, in front of Saxo Bank-SunGard’s Michael Morkov, thanks to a textbook leadout by Daniel Oss and help throughout the day from veteran Ivan Basso.  Leipheimer retained the jersey with no loss of time.

Race Files:

[VIDEO] Stage 4 TP Video Blog.

 

Stage 5: Saturday, August 27 (Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge -- 105.2mi) 

Andy Schleck took the lead over Rabbit Ears Pass, but was picked up by three riders as he neared the finish.  Attack after attack between the riders allowed the peloton to nearly catch the breakaway with less than 700m left to go.  Daniel Oss led Elia Viviani to ANOTHER stage win for Team Liquigas-Cannondale.  Levi hung on to the yellow jersey again on Saturday.

Race Files:

 

 

 

Stage 6: Sunday, August 28 (Golden to Denver -- 73.79mi)

The four leaders had about 2:15 on the rest of the peloton as they hit Denver for 6 circuits.  At speeds averaging 31mph, many teams and riders took turns attacking and trying to make a break from the group, but none were successful.  As they neared the finish, it looked like Daniel Oss was leading out for Elia Viviani to take another stage win, but Elia gave the win to Oss and Liquigas-Cannondale emerged victorious again.

Leipheimer held on to the yellow jersey and won the first USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Race Files:

[VIDEO] Stage 6 TP Video Blog.

 


Final Overall Standings
1 LEIPHEIMER Levi RSH USA 20h00'24" 00"
2 VANDEVELDE Christian GRM USA 11"
3 VAN GARDEREN Tejay THR USA 17"
4 DANIELSON Tom GRM USA 21"
5 HINCAPIE George BMC USA 53"
6 INFANTINO ABREU Rafael EPM COL 01'14"
7 EVANS Cadel BMC AUS 01'18"
8 CLEMENT Stef RAB NED 01'42"
9 PIRES Bruno LEO POR 01'49"
10 SUTHERLAND Rory UHC AUS 01'50"

 

Want more up-close shots of the riders in action or a sneak peek into what the TP team was up to all week? Check out our photos from the race!


 

If you didn't get a chance to check out WKO+ to download the rider files and really take a look at the data, you can sign up here for a free 7 day trial of the software that most of the pro riders in the USAPCC (and the world!) are using to train for the world's thoughest races.

 

The only race in American cycling history to have the entire TdF podium present and racing.

 

Prologue

UHC: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/08/news/colorado-power-analysis-rory-sutherland%E2%80%99s-prologue_189046

UHC: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/unitedhealthcare-pro-cycling-team/2011-usa-pro-cycling-challenge/prologue.aspx

Saxo (Brian Vandborg): http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/saxo-bank-sungard/2011-usa-pro-cycling-challenge/prologue.aspx

Garden of the gods to CO springs (5.2mi) – only totally downhill stage.  Winner, 24 year old time-trial specialist, Patrick Gretsch, of team HTC, was a bit of a surprise.  The course was a bit technical, with a tough left turn leading into the final four miles.  Gretsch was aggressive where other GC contenders weren’t, frankly, because he knew he had a chance at winning the Prologue, but probably not any other stages.

 

Stage 1 

UHC: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/08/news/colorado-power-analysis-chris-jones-stage-1-power_189406

UHC: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/unitedhealthcare-pro-cycling-team/2011-usa-pro-cycling-challenge/stage-1.aspx

Saxo: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/saxo-bank-sungard/2011-usa-pro-cycling-challenge/stage-1.aspx

Stage 1 video analysis: http://youtu.be/LTsmCAO63oU

Salida to Crested Butte – 99 miles with an uphill finish, topping out at over 9,000ft. Lots of guys were hurting after this day – seemed like many were having trouble adjusting to the altitude (except the Columbian team, Gobernacion, who put 4 riders in the top 13 that day).  Many attacked too early and ran out of steam. Levi attacked at the right time and takes the yellow jersey. 

 

Stage 2 (Queen Stage)

UHC: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/08/news/colorado-power-rory-sutherlands-queen-stage_189535

UHC: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/unitedhealthcare-pro-cycling-team/2011-usa-pro-cycling-challenge/stage-2.aspx

Saxo: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/saxo-bank-sungard/2011-usa-pro-cycling-challenge/stage-2.aspx

Comparing 4 riders during the queen stage: http://blog.trainingpeaks.com/posts/2011/8/24/comparing-4-riders-during-the-queen-stage-at-usa-pro-cycling.html

Stage 2 video analysis: http://youtu.be/8vKJ8tdcjpA

Gunnison to Aspen (130 miles) – Nasty crash (the only real one of the race) when the riders piled up as they hit a cattleguard approaching Cottonwood Pass. Daniele Callegarin was the worst-injured with facial lacerations and two broken hands. Two climbs over 12,000 feet challenged ALL of the riders and mother nature played a nasty role, adding in wind, rain and chilly temperatures to make the massive descents even more daunting.  23 year old Tejay Van Garderen punched it DOWN Independence pass on the way into Aspen to separate from the group.  George Hincape got the stage win (his first major victory since 2009!) through a well-timed sprint. Tejay came in second and claimed the yellow jersey.

 

Stage 3 (time trial) 

UHC: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/08/news/power-analysis-rory-sutherland%e2%80%99s-vail-time-trial_189781

UHC: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/unitedhealthcare-pro-cycling-team/2011-usa-pro-cycling-challenge/stage-3.aspx

Stage 3 video analysis: http://youtu.be/MgdIx_gAKV4

Uphill (vail pass) for 10 miles – Christian Van de Velde set a fast time and led until Leipheimer finished .58 seconds ahead of him.  Van Garderen finished :51 seconds behind Leipheimer and gave up the yellow jersey to Levi.  Tom Danielson, who suffered from food poisoning the night before the TT put up an impressive 9th after what sounded like a hellish night.

 

 

Stage 4

**Colorado Power: Michael Morkov’s 46 mph podium sprint

Saxo: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/08/news/colorado-power-michael-morkov%e2%80%99s-46-mph-podium-sprint_190010

Stage 4 video analysis: http://youtu.be/A3TRhOf3GVo

Avon to steamboat springs (82.8 miles) -  The race took just over three hours and ended in a bunched, downhill sprint to the finish, where 22 year old Elia Viviani took the win, in front of Saxo Bank-SunGard’s Michael Morkov, thanks to a textbook leadout by Daniel Oss and help throughout the day from veteran Ivan Basso.  Leipheimer retained the jersey with no loss of time.

 

Stage 5

UHC: http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/08/news/colorado-power-rory-sutherland%e2%80%99s-race-to-breckenridge_190171

UHC: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/unitedhealthcare-pro-cycling-team/2011-usa-pro-cycling-challenge/stage-5.aspx

Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge (106 miles) -  Andy Schleck took the lead over Rabbit Ears Pass, but was picked up by three riders as he neared the finish.  Attack after attack between the riders allowed the peloton to nearly catch the breakaway with less than 700m left to go.  Daniel Oss led Elia Viviani to ANOTHER stage win.  Levi hung on to the yellow jersey again on Saturday.

 

Stage 6

http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/08/news/colorado-power-rory-sutherland-finishes-off-the-usapcc_190310

Stage 6 video analysis: http://youtu.be/OszhGxXEUBI

Golden to Denver (   miles) –  The four leaders had about 2:15 on the rest of the peloton as they hit Denver for 6 circuits.  At speeds averaging 31mph, many teams and riders took turns attacking and trying to make a break from the group, but none were successful.  As they neared the finish, it looked like Daniel Oss was leading out for Elia Viviani to take another stage win, but Elia gave the win to Oss and Liquigas-Cannondale emerged victorious again. Leipheimer held on to the yellow jersey and won the first USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

 

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trainingpeaks/sets/72157627448235778/

$nbsp;

Final Overall Standings
1 LEIPHEIMER Levi RSH USA 20h00'24" 00"
2 VANDEVELDE Christian GRM USA 11"
3 VAN GARDEREN Tejay THR USA 17"
4 DANIELSON Tom GRM USA 21"
5 HINCAPIE George BMC USA 53"
6 INFANTINO ABREU Rafael EPM COL 01'14"
7 EVANS Cadel BMC AUS 01'18"
8 CLEMENT Stef RAB NED 01'42"
9 PIRES Bruno LEO POR 01'49"
10 SUTHERLAND Rory UHC AUS 01'50"

 

Reader Comments (1)

Seeing the above pictures I know they are struggling to finish the race. Through their determination and skills they deserve to have a place in the final overall standings listed above. Congratulations!

September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJemelyn | Flyer Printing

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>