Stage 5 of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, was an individual time trial originating in Vail Village and heading due east up Vail Pass for a total of a 10 miles mostly uphill stage. Competition was strong with all the riders as their performance directly impacts each rider’s overall time. This essentially creates a fight for the general classification.
The uphill nature of the course requires a technical strategy. Pacing is key, as the racer can’t expel too much energy too early to risk depletion near the finish line. However, if the racer is too conservative, they could eliminate themselves from the lead.
Jason McCartney of Bissell initially held the fastest time of 27'49" that held for the first hour. Kanstantsin Siutsou of Sky followed with the next strongest time of 26'17", that would eventually place him 7th. Siutsou's time eventually got broken by Andrew Talansky of Garmin-Sharp posting a time of 25'05"70, and breaking the 2011 USA Pro Challenge record.
Near the end of the stage the top-ranked riders got their chance to break Talansky’s time. Tom Danielson of Garmin-Sharp but in a great effort, but ended 58 seconds short to Talansky. In the final run, Tejay van Garderen posted the fastest split of the day, leaving people wondering if he could maintain his pace and take the win from Talansky. With fans cheering and beating on the barriers at the top of Vail Pass, van Garderen pulled out the win, beating the best time by 4 seconds and the new record. Talansky ended the day with second place and Danielson with third.
Photos by Peter Wayne