Elia Viviani claimed stage 4 of this year’s USA Pro Challenge today, after leading a stream of sprinters past a waning Jens Voight.
Meanwhile, Tejay van Garderen managed to hold onto his overall race lead.
Voigt made a gutsy move for the stage win, with a solo attack of more than 40 kilometers that nearly gave him the victory.
Indeed, the German rider established a lead of more than a minute, and at one point, it seemed that he might hold on to win the 113.1-kilometer stage, along today’s hilly circuit in and around Colorado Springs.
But with five kilometers to go, his lead had dwindled to 35 seconds, and with one kilometer remaining he was swallowed up, Cannondale’s Viviani surging across the line ahead of BMC rider Martin Kohler and Jelly Belly’s Serghei Tvetcov.
"It’s difficult to close with Jens," a delighted Viviani said. "He’s a strong man. He’s a legend man."
Voigt, a master of the breakaway in his prime, reckoned he was "two percent" short of what he needed to hang on.
"You’ve got to play the cards life is giving you—that’s all I had today," said the German, who will turn 43 in September. "Was sort of like a slow death," he said. "I saw my time was going down … those long straight lines into the finish—it’s not in your favor."
Regardless, Voigt said, he went "all-in to try to get the win."
"It’s the story of my life," he added, "all-in."
There was no change at the top of the overall standings, with van Garderen, who finished 21st in the same time as the winner, maintaining his 20-second lead over Poland’s Rafal Majka, with Belgian Ben Hermans third, 23 seconds off the lead.
Van Garderen admitted that he was a little sorry Voigt, who finished 67th, 52 seconds behind Viviani, didn’t get the stage.
"I was hoping he’d stay out there," van Garderen said. "But the sprinters’ teams, they don’t have many chances in this race, so they were pretty keen on getting him back—but I was rooting for him."
Stage 4 Results ITA 1 VIVIANI, Elia (CANNONDALE) 2:28:52 SUI 2 KOHLER, Martin (BMC RACING) MDA 3 TVETCOV, Serghei (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS) USA 4 MAGNER, Tyler (HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT) USA 5 REIJNEN, Kiel (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) SLO 6 KOCJAN, Jure (TEAM SMARTSTOP) USA 7 HOWES, Alex (GARMIN SHARP) AUS 8 CANTWELL, Jonathan (DRAPAC) USA 9 BOOKWALTER, Brent (BMC RACING) CAN 10 ANDERSON, Ryan (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) USA 11 RATHE, Jacob (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS) DEN 12 GULDHAMMER, Rasmus (TINKOFF-SAXO) CAN 13 BELL, Zachary (TEAM SMARTSTOP) USA 14 ROSSKOPF, Joseph (HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT) USA 15 PUTT, Tanner (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) POL 16 HUZARSKI, Bartosz (NETAPP – ENDURA) SUI 17 SCHÄR, Michael (BMC RACING) COL 18 JARAMILLO DIEZ, Daniel Alexander (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) USA 19 MANNION, Gavin (GARMIN SHARP) POL 20 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF-SAXO) USA 21 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) BEL 22 HERMANS, Ben (BMC RACING) GBR 23 MOSES, Thomas (RAPHA CONDOR JLT) FRA 24 CHEVRIER, Clement (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) POR 25 PIRES, Bruno (TINKOFF-SAXO) NZL 26 SMITH, Dion (HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT) USA 27 KING, Benjamin (GARMIN SHARP) USA 28 JONES, Carter (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) USA 29 CRANE, Ian (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) POL 30 POLJANSKI, Pawel (TINKOFF-SAXO) AUS 31 SULZBERGER, Bernard (DRAPAC) USA 32 DANIELSON, Thomas (GARMIN SHARP) USA 33 BUSCHE, Matthew (TREK FACTORY RACING) USA 34 STETINA, Peter (BMC RACING) POR 35 PIMENTA COSTA MENDES, José Joao (NETAPP – ENDURA) AUS 36 WURF, Cameron (CANNONDALE) POR 37 MACHADO, Tiago (NETAPP – ENDURA) AUT 38 KONRAD, Patrick (NETAPP – ENDURA) ESP 39 MEGIAS LEAL, Javier (NOVO NORDISK) ESP 40 IRIZAR ARANBURU, Markel (TREK FACTORY RACING)
General Classification after Stage 4 USA 1 VAN GARDEREN, Tejay (BMC RACING) 13:03:45 POL 2 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF-SAXO) + 20 BEL 3 HERMANS, Ben (BMC RACING) + 23 USA 4 DANIELSON, Thomas (GARMIN SHARP) + 34 MDA 5 TVETCOV, Serghei (JELLY BELLY P/B MAXXIS) + 37 USA 6 BUSCHE, Matthew (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 46 USA 7 JONES, Carter (OPTUM P/B KELLY BENEFIT STRATEGIES) + 49 USA 8 ROSSKOPF, Joseph (HINCAPIE SPORTSWEAR DEVELOPMENT) + 55 POL 9 HUZARSKI, Bartosz (NETAPP – ENDURA) + 1:09 USA 10 KYER, Julian (TEAM SMARTSTOP) + 1:22 FRA 11 CHEVRIER, Clement (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) + 1:23 USA 12 HOWES, Alex (GARMIN SHARP) + 1:45 POR 13 PIRES, Bruno (TINKOFF-SAXO) + 2:28 USA 14 BOOKWALTER, Brent (BMC RACING) + 2:37 AUT 15 ZOIDL, Riccardo (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 2:47 POL 16 POLJANSKI, Pawel (TINKOFF-SAXO) + 4:06 USA 17 EUSER, Lucas (UNITEDHEALTHCARE) + 4:10 LUX 18 SCHLECK, Frank (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 5:20 GER 19 ZEPUNTKE, Ruben (BISSELL DEVELOPMENT TEAM) + 7:00 COL 20 JARAMILLO DIEZ, Daniel Alexander (JAMIS – HAGENS BERMAN) + 7:28
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