USA Pro Challenge: Jens Voigt caught in closing stages of stage four
Last Updated: 22/08/14 10:33am
Jens Voigt: Agonising defeat in Colorado
Jens Voigt was denied a farewell victory after a daring break on stage four of the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado.
The 42-year-old is riding his final race after nearly two decades in the professional peloton but he was shown no mercy by his rivals in Colorado Springs.
Voigt, who rides for the Trek Factory Racing team, was part of a 12-strong break on the circuit race around the city but then took off on his own with 40 kilometres to go.
He built a lead of more than two minutes but started to fade on the final climb of Garden of the Gods as teams with a sprinter left in their ranks started to mass at the front of the group.
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Cheered on by fans at the side of the road, Voigt continued to hang on in the lead going into the final kilometre, but his brave ride came to nothing when the field flew past with around 800 metres remaining.
Victory eventually went to Elia Viviani of the Cannondale team, but the biggest cheers were reserved for the German, who spent the closing metres high-fiving fans as he cruised over the line just over a minute behind.
"In the team meeting in the bus, I made it pretty clear that I was go today," Voigt said. "A short stage like that was made for me. It was hard, but it didn't have a killer climb.
"It's the same old story. Me against all odds. I gave it all I had. I don't think I could have done anything different or better. I was working as hard as I could on the flats and uphill. 800 metres too short."
Voigt has three more chances for a victory, although the stage profiles might not be suitable for one final chance at glory.
The race is being led by America's Tejay van Garderen, who won stage three on Wednesday and has a 20-second advantage on Rafal Majka.