Stage 2 – USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2014

With the start-off in Aspen Valley and sprinting through the cities of Basalt and Carbondale, Stage 2 was not with an incident. Commencing on Tuesday, the 128 riders took on the 105-mile course and tackled the 8,700 ft. McClure Pass. Much of this course remained mostly unpaved and ‘Mother Nature’ was a huge influence. The finish took place on a steep climb up to Mount Crested Butte among torrential rain.
It took nearly two hours for a group of 12 to form off the front as the race approached the first classified climb of the day on McClure Pass. The hammering rains proved a hardship as the climb up Kebler Pass with 25 miles to go, turned the dirt roads to mud. Officials noted the condition and neutralized the race until riders were back on pavement with about 7 miles remaining. Several teams were understandably upset, and felt officials made an incorrect call, and many were unaware if the race had been stopped or not.

While one rider forged on ahead, and although many felt that Robin Carpenter of Hincapie Sportswear Development Team wining of Stage 2 was slightly controversial. Although he was part of a breakaway for nearly 65 miles, he was stopped on the descent because of the weather conditions. The peloton finally caught up to him. The race was restarted, and 45 seconds was reinstated to Carpenter setting up the finale on Mt. Crested Butte. He won the race with a time of 4 hours 17 minutes 18 seconds.

Robin Carpenter
Alex Howes obtained the yellow jersey as the overall leader with a time of 6 hours 44 minutes 00 seconds with an 11-second lead.

Alex Howes

Stage 1’s race winner Kiel Reijnen took over the sprint jersey.

Reijna Keil
Today will be what officials and riders consider the most difficult mountain stage. The 96-mile ride from Gunnison finished at Monarch Ski Area elevating at 10,800 feet.

Stage 2 Results

1.    Robin Carpenter of the United States (Hincapie Sportswear Development)
2.    Alex Howes of the United States (Garmin-Sharp)
3.    Tejay van Garderen of the United States (BMC Racing Team)
4.    Ben Hermans of Belgium (BMC Racing Team)
5.    Thomas Danielson of the United States (Team Garmin-Sharp)

General Classification Results as of August 19th

1.    Alex Howes of the United States (Garmin-Sharp)
2.    Ben Hermans of Belgium (BMC Racing Team)
3.    Tejay van Garderen of the United States  (BMC Racing Team)
4.    Matthew Busche of the United States (Trek Factory Racing)
5.    Thomas Danielson of the United States (Team Garmin-Sharp)

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