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DENVER — The 2014 USA Pro Challenge will feature 16 of the world’s top professional cycling teams. Led by UCI ProTour teams BMC Racing, Cannondale, Garmin-Sharp, Tinkoff-Saxo, and Trek Factory Racing, the race will include some of the sport’s top talent.
The seven-day stage race will travel 550 miles from Aspen to Denver, August 18-24, 2014.
“We consistently get such an overwhelmingly positive response from the teams that participate in the Pro Challenge each year,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the USA Pro Challenge. “The race continues to build momentum year after year and we’ll look to build on that in 2014 by welcoming back some veteran teams and introducing some new ones to the challenging terrain and beautiful scenery of Colorado.”
Featuring teams hailing from six countries, the USA Pro Challenge will test riders by taking them to unprecedented elevations.
“We’ve had huge success in the Pro Challenge the past three years and we’re looking forward to returning for a fourth,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports and Garmin-Sharp. “As a Colorado-based team, this is a race we look forward to all year and the riders always bring their A-game. Last year Lachlan Morton won the best young rider competition and Tom Danielson got third overall, so we have high goals for the race and we will give fans plenty of reasons to cheer.”
2014 USA Pro Challenge Team Roster:
BMC Racing (USA)
Trek Factory Racing (USA)
UCI Professional Continental Teams
NetApp–Endura (G) *
Novo Nordisk (USA)
UCI Continental Teams
Bissell Development Team (USA) *
Hincapie Sportswear Development Team (USA) *
Jamis-Hagens Berman (USA)
Jelly Belly (USA)
Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Rapha-Condor (GB) *
SmartStop (USA) *
* First-time appearance for team at USA Pro Challenge
Full team rosters will be announced closer to the race.
“The USA Pro Challenge has featured some of the best teams in the world over the last three years and 2014 will be no different,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “We’re giving cycling fans in the United States the chance to see the teams they love up close and in person. Interest in the race continues to grow and this year’s diverse roster of teams is going to create seven intensely competitive days of racing in August.”
“We’re really looking forward to racing in the USA Pro Challenge again this year,” said Cannondale team director Alberto Volpi. “With tough, competitive racing and amazing crowds, this is the kind of race we love. Last year the team rode really well, and Peter Sagan took the sprint jersey. This year, we’re coming back to take stages and be again among the main contenders. We’ll certainly bring a strong team.”
The post USA Pro Challenge confirms 16 teams to participate this August appeared first on VeloNews.com.
TALLARD, France (AFP) — Andriy Grivko, the only Ukrainian rider in this year’s Tour de France, says his presence is essential to convey a message of peace back to his homeland.
Grivko, speaking after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the rebel-controlled east of Ukraine, insisted that fault for that “terrorist act” lies squarely with the Russian government, led by president Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine has been embroiled in a bitter civil war since Russian-backed separatists gained control of Crimea in late February.
A snap referendum on March 11 saw Crimean citizens vote for independence from Ukraine, although Grivko claims those who wanted to remain part of Ukraine were prevented from voting.
The 30-year-old, a native of Crimea, rides for Astana, alongside race leader Vincenzo Nibali, and he hopes his presence at the front of the peloton marshaling the Italian can have a positive effect back in his homeland.
“I feel a bit alone to tell the truth, but it’s important that I’m here on the Tour to carry a message of peace,” he told Sunday’s edition of l’Equipe.
“Above and beyond my work for Vincenzo, I see my presence on the Tour as a mission.”
But Grivko cannot help but get down about the events back home.
His parents and sister still live in Simferopol, where he was born, in Crimea, and he is sad to see how they are suffering since the events of last March.
“It’s hard to concentrate on cycling when you know your family is still over there,” he said. “I’ve tried to speak to them regularly since the start of the Tour. I found out my sister was fighting to refuse the Russian passport they’re trying to impose on all inhabitants.
“The Russian dictatorship is being implanted in my country while I’m pedaling the roads of France.”
Grivko was eight years old when the old Soviet Union broke up and Ukraine became a separate and independent country.
But he says that was only on paper. “I remember that everyone thought that we would finally have freedom. But already back then they were lying to us.
“They made us think that we would no longer be associated with Moscow, but not much has changed in the last 20 years.”
This year is Grivko’s seventh Tour de France. He is also a five-time national time trial champion, and won Ukraine’s national road race championships in 2012.
- On Sunday, September 7, USA Cycling will be hosting the inaugural Team USA Gran Fondo at the2014 USA Cycling Masters Road National Championshipsin Odgen, Utah.
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CARCASSONE, France (VN) — He’s been here before. It’s not new. It’s not easy, but it’s not new. Tejay van Garderen is composed in this 2014 Tour de France — if anything it seems an extension of the 2012 running, in which he finished fifth. He’s fifth now, heading into the Pyrénées and the looming final time trial.
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) is considerably up on everyone (by more than four minutes) but van Garderen and a passel of others are contesting every remaining kilometer. Just two minutes separate second (Alejandro Valverde) and the sixth of Jean-Cristophe Péraud (A2GR La Mondiale). Van Garderen sat down with reporters on the rest day; a year after a trying Tour (he finished 45th last year) he is poised for what he called the biggest week of his racing career.
VeloNews: Are you enjoying the battle with the French guys? Valverde? Is it fun?
Tejay van Garderen: It definitely makes for interesting racing. If everyone was separated by two minutes then it wouldn’t be that much to watch anymore. Since [Nibali] already has a sold lead he looks almost untouchable … More battles going on make it exciting.
VN: All the quarreling behind Nibali, the marking of each other, could it come back to haunt you?
TVG: I mean, five minutes is a lot to make up. I don’t think we’ve been racing each other rather than racing him, necessarily. It’s just when he attacks, no one has the legs to follow. And then when we start to chase it kind of becomes tactical. Because some people want to pull and try to get it back. And other people are getting a free ride. So then it’s like we have to attack each other in order to whittle down the group so we’re not carrying any freeloaders. So it might look tactical, like we’re racing each other back there but really we’re just trying to unload any dead weight that we might not want to pull back up to Nibali to try to catch him.
VN: What would be a good result for you in the time trial?
TVG: I don’t know. I really, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Romain Bardet (A2GR La Mondiale), they’re very young. I haven’t seen them too many times in time trials. I don’t think they’re real specialists. I think they could go OK. Valverde and Jean-Christophe Péraud I know are really good time trialers. So I don’t know. You can never be satisfied with anything. It’s the Tour de France. You know? You never know how your legs are going to be after three weeks. I just have to get to it and ride as hard as I can.
VN: Can you go into the TT where you are now, or do you think you need to move up?
TVG: I’m just looking for consistency. Some of these climbers, they’re very explosive, and that’s less my style. If I can stay consistent maybe some of the other guys will weaken a little bit. But no, I’m not looking — obviously if one of my rivals has a bad day I might push the pace a little bit.
VN: You said earlier this season you were out to prove that fifth place in 2012 wasn’t a fluke. Do you feel like you’ve done that?
TVG: I mean that’s something that I’ve known all along. I think it’s something other people may have doubted. So it’s nice to silence some of the doubters. But no. I’m not going to be satisfied until we get to Paris and I’m in a good position.
VN: What about the long-term?
TVG: My goal is obviously to one year win this race. Yeah, that might be a bit lofty of an expectation for this year. But years down the road, I think it’s something I can do.
VN: Is this the most important week of your career?
TVG: Yes. Yes it is.
VN: Was it easy to assume the leadership role? It’s your first true leadership at a grand tour. What’s that like?
TVG: This is my first grand tour that I’ve done where I’ve been the outright leader. And the guys have been incredible. It’s a huge experience and I’m certainly enjoying it … I’ve kind of grown into it I think. I’ve led the team in many other races. But to do it in a grand tour is something different. It’s three weeks long. But I feel like the other races have given me enough practice.
VN: It wasn’t an ideal run-in for you. Were you confident heading into the Tour regardless of the misfortunes earlier this year?
TVG: What happens in the early season usually doesn’t have that big of an effect on how you come into July. It’s kind of broken up into two seasons. I showed I had really good form earlier this season … I showed that I did the work over the winter to have that base
VN: You’ve been there, the young guy with pressure in the Tour. How will the young French riders handle the pressure?
TVG: It all depends on where, or whether or not, you let that stuff get to you. They seem like solid guys, solid characters. I don’t think they’re going to have trouble with it. And if, at the end of the day, there is pressure and they disappoint, that shouldn’t be right. They shouldn’t be disappointed because they’re both having an incredible Tour.