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The BMC Racing Team worked hard to bring back a dangerous breakaway. (@Casey B. Gibson.)
The BMC Racing Team worked hard to bring back a dangerous breakaway. (@Casey B. Gibson.)

USA Pro Challenge, Stage 1: Driving The Chase

20. August 2012

With an unfavorable combination up the road in the opening stage of the USA Pro Challenge, it was left to the BMC Racing Team to do the chasing Monday to preserve the team's chances for the overall classification.

'Lucky To Bring The Break Back'
BMC Racing Team's George Hincapie and Michael Schär were in an initial 22-man move that formed immediately from the start of the 202-kilometer race. But with several race favorites in the group, including four riders from Garmin-Sharp, and the lead going out to more than five minutes, BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said he told the team to start chasing. "It was not good for us, so we ended up working the whole day," Sayers said. "We were just lucky to bring the break back." The last of the escapees was only caught in the last three kilometers as Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) took the stage win and the first leader's jersey. Schär, in 11th place, was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher.

Another Hard Stage Ahead
Hincapie said he wound up in the breakaway by being vigilant as the race immediately headed uphill from the start in Durango. "It was a strong move and we needed to have guys up there, so I made a really big effort to get in it," Hincapie said. "I arrived at the finish completely exhausted." Sayers said the hard effort put forth in a race that was nearly entirely uphill and featured occasional rain showers, may have a domino effect on future stages. Tuesday's 159.3 km race features an uphill finish. "Garmin burned a lot matches today and we burned a lot of matches today," he said. "I think that might change the dynamic of the race a little bit."