USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2013 Stage 5
Vail Time Trial 16.1km
All time trials are hard. Add high altitude and climbing to the time trial after four days of racing, and the event is brutal. The Vail Time Trial is short, at 16.1km (10mi), but short, amazingly, makes it hard. Everyone puts in a long warm-up and has to find a hard rhythm fast, a contrast after long days in the saddle. The race favorites have to empty their tanks, but with points on the line for the Green Jersey, the sprinters can't completely take the day off. And even the riders just looking to finish need to ride hard to make the time cut.
Cannondale Pro Cyclings two main objectives were to keep the points competition lead for Peter Sagan and help Damiano Caruso with a high overall placing. Sagan might be a sprinter, but he proved at this year's Tour de France, that he can time trial well—and the points gained would pad his lead. Caruso, looking for a top-five placing by the final finish line in Denver, needed a good ride to help with his ambitions.
Sagan, 43rd overall, started early. At the first time check, he was close to Tour de France champion Chris Froome's time. Not bad for the Slovak. But he was out of the points and cruised in to the finish.
Garmin-Sharp's Andrew Talansky, keeping a low profile on the bike and at the race, started strong and finished stronger. He rode to an impressive 25:05, beating the course record of 25:47 handily and putting an even larger gap on the competition—over a minute faster than everyone else who had finished thus far.
Caruso, starting eighth from last, needed an impressive ride. Tied with two other riders at 1:58 behind the race leader, he needed to produce a great ride just to hold his position. He gave it his all. But the clock didn't lie. He lost time to rivals.
Caruso wasn't the only one to fall short. Nobody could come close to Talansky.
The race leader, BMC's Tejay Van Garderen, starting last, rode steadily. Tucked low on his bike, his body betrayed none of his effort. At the time check, he had the fastest time by 32 seconds. His teammate, second-placed Mathias Frank wasn't even close. Farther behind was third-placed Janier Acevedo of Jamis/Hagens-Berman. Van Garderen slowed in the final kilometers, but kept chugging away. And when he crossed the line, he had put in a time of 25:01, beating Talansky by four seconds and everyone else by over a minute.
The race for the overall suddenly seemed almost decided. Van Garderen had a lead of 1:30 over teammate Frank and another twelve seconds over Garmin-Sharp's Tom Danielson. Caruso dropped to fourteenth overall, four and a half minutes down on Van Garderen, but only 22 seconds down on tenth place.
Feeling the disappointment, Caruso reflected on his day. "I aimed for a different result. The feeling, during the morning's recon, was not bad. The stage wasn't easy, not for the climb but for the route. There was a mix of climb and flat, so it was important to find a good rhythm to do the time. Unfortunately I suffered and I wasn't able to perform as I wanted.”
Stage Six, a 185.4km (115mi) ride from Loveland to Fort Collins, is considered the last chance for riders to shake up the general classification standings. There will be another 11,000' of climbing in store. The long ascent up to Devil' Gulch early in the stage will soften the legs, and those with anything left will want to harden up the race in the last 40km (25mi), where a series of rolling hills will make for punishing racing. Race leader Van Garderen will try to defend his lead, but opportunist climbers like Cannondale Pro Cycling's Damiano Caruso will be in the mix. Now that he's dropped to fourteenth overall, he'll have some more freedom, which can play in his favor.
USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2013
Stage 5 Vail Time Trial - 16.1km
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team in 0:25:01
2. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0:00:04
3. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:01:02
4. Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team 0:01:04
5. Lawrence Warbasse (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:12
Stage Results Cannondale Pro Cycling
37. Damiano Caruso (Ita) 0:02:34
51. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 0:03:08
51. Davide Villella (Ita) 0:03:11
52. Peter Sagan (Svk) 0:03:18
64. Nariyuki Masuda (Jpn) 0:03:50
75. Juraj Sagan (Svk) 0:04:10
113. Ted King (USA) 0:06:44
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 16:10:00
2. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:30
3. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:01:42
4. Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman 0:02:10
5. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp 0:02:34
General Classification Cannondale Pro Cycling
14. Damiano Caruso (Ita) 0:04:32
39, Davide Villella (Ita) 0:16:33
43. Peter Sagan (Svk) 0:19:46
67. Ted King (USA) 0:31:07
74. Juraj Sagan (Svk) 0:35:05
75. Nariyuki Masuda (Jpn) 0:35:05
87. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) 0:38:58
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 40 pts
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 24
3. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 15
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 13
5. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp 12
*Points provided by USAPCC site