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George Hincapie led the BMC Racing Team's chase of a breakaway on the finishing circuit in Colorado Springs. (©Casey B. Gibson photo.)
George Hincapie led the BMC Racing Team's chase of a breakaway on the finishing circuit in Colorado Springs. (©Casey B. Gibson photo.)

USA Pro Challenge, Stage 5: Phinney Second; Van Garderen Still Leads

25. August 2012

BMC Racing Team's Taylor Phinney finished second in the sprint finish Friday while teammate Tejay van Garderen held onto overall lead with two stages remaining in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Still Tied On Overall Time
The BMC Racing Team successfully defended van Garderen's lead over Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) by chasing down a breakaway that led for the majority of the 189.7 kilometer race. Van Garderen and Vande Velde both finished in the same time, but van Garderen kept the race leader's yellow jersey by finishing 14th, while Vande Velde was 29th. The winner of the best young rider classification at this year's Tour de France said he actually wasn't concerned about keeping the race lead. "I was focused on staying at the front, staying ahead of the crashes, staying out of trouble, ahead of time gaps," van Garderen said. "(Finishing ahead of) Christian wasn't on my mind coming into the finish. It was just staying on the bike and staying in a good position and not losing anything."

Recovering From Injury
Phinney couldn't keep Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) from winning his second stage of the race, but the U.S. Olympian said his runner-up finish exceeded expectations, particularly after he crashed on the race's opening stage, bruising his left elbow and knee. "I'm happy that my legs are finally feeling better after that crash that kind of put me in a little bit of a hole," Phinney said. "I was third wheel with 300 meters to go, then Tyler started coming around me with someone else and somebody else coming around him. I thought my sprint was over because I left it too late but then I found a little gap and managed to weasel my way out. But by then, Tyler had opened his sprint already. I was gaining on him in the last 50 meters or so, but by then he was letting up and getting ready to celebrate."

Final Mountain Climb Saturday
Van Garderen said he spent the majority of the race thinking ahead to Saturday's finish on Flagstaff Mountain at the Sunrise Amphitheater outside Boulder, where he recently bought a home. "Today was a bit less stressful than the other days," he said. "It was a bunch sprint, so it was sort of a rest day for the GC (general classification) guys. It got a little bit stressful there on the circuit when the rain started coming down. I tried to stay at the front, tried to stay safe. Every little bit of energy you can save today is more for tomorrow."