The best bike racers in the world rolled over Independence Pass and invaded Aspen today. Stage 3 of the USA Pro Challenge Bike Race took over Aspen. The grueling 130.5 mile Silver Queen stage from Gunnison to Aspen included 9623 feet in vertical climbs and is generally considered the most difficult stage in the USA Pro, and it's the highest bike race in the World.
Click 4 pix: SPANDEX INVASION
The Final Results:
- · First Place – Tom Danielson (USA) of Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda
- · Second Place – Damiano Caruso (ITA) of Liquigas-Cannondale
- · Third Place – Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) of RadioShack-Nissan-Trek
- · Exergy Leader Jersey – Christian Vande Velde (USA) of Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda
- · 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) Bontrager
- · Evolve Most Aggressive Rider Jersey – Francisco Jarley Colorado Hernandez (COL)
The entire town of Aspen turned out for the 2nd annual USA Pro Challenge. A labyrinth of road closings and temporary parking restrictions created a little havoc for the locals, but general consensus indicates that the course was much better laid out and less intrusive than last year. The races and corresponding bicycle circus, including a bike expo, food trucks, music and sponsors row was packed and very well received. Everybody had a blast.
As part of the festivities, Aspen hosted The Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge, a 60 minute criterium for lady pro riders. Jade Wilcoxson took the top spot. Also on the agenda, a locals criterium , a kids race and a sprint to the finish between Pitkin County Commissioners and Aspen City Council. Typically the race between Pitkin County officials and Aspen's City Councilmen had no winner. Law suits are pending.
The rain held off and Coloradoan (by way of Connecticut) Tommy Danielson dominated the climbs and handily won the Silver Queen stage crossing the finish line alone, 6 seconds ahead. It was a good day for Team Garmin as Christian Vande Velde took over possession of the yellow jersey to signify his status as overall race leader. Tommy D., who also leads the King of the Mountain comp. and a fan favorite credited his teammates and his wife for his win. His team "pulled him through the valley near Buena Vista" and his wife's words were ringing in his ears at the top of Independence Pass ..."don't look back " ..."she always says.. I didn't look back...and it worked".
Click 4 PIX SPANDEX INVASION