Rocky Mountain Battle To The Finish
Coming towards the end of a long season, cycling fans might not have expected the second edition of the USA Pro Challenge to turn into the hotly contested clash that it became. The principal contenders – Leipheimer, van Garderen, Nibali, Danielson, Sutherland, and Vande Velde, had already seen plenty of action out on the road and there was no telling what anyone would have left in the tank once they arrived at the high altitudes of the Centennial State. The routes had changed, the climbs were tougher, and the closing day’s time trial meant that matters might not be settled until the final pedal stroke. The UCI upgraded the event’s worldwide stature to a 2.HC event for 2012, and once the racing was underway it seemed like the entire field brought a whole different level of energy into play.