USA Pro Challenge: Peter Sagan sprints to victory on stage one
Last Updated: 23/08/13 5:35pm
Peter Sagan celebrates his sprint success in Aspen
Peter Sagan got off to a winning start at the USA Pro Challenge by comfortably outsprinting Greg Van Avermaet in Aspen as Chris Froome lost time.
Sagan (Cannondale) benefited from solid teamwork during the three laps of an undulating circuit, before latching on to Van Avermaet's wheel on the final corner and then passing the BMC rider with ease. The Slovakian champion went on to celebrate his victory with his now customary one-handed wheelie.
That result ensured Sagan was also awarded with the race leader's yellow jersey, although a lack of bonus seconds means he sits level on time with 17 other riders.
Froome (Team Sky) finished 4min 59sec down in 77th place as he continues to build back towards peak fitness in the wake of his Tour de France win last month.
The third edition of the USA Pro Challenge had got off to a lively start with numerous attacks being annulled before Craig Lewis (Champion System) edged ahead after 10km and was joined by Matt Cooke (Jamis-Hagens Berman) and Ian Burnett (Jelly Belly).
Sagan too strong
The trio saw their lead max out at two minutes and 35 seconds before Cannondale took control at the head of the peloton in their new black kit, with Team Sky and Garmin-Sharp also lending a hand.
Cooke earned himself a spell in the King of the Mountains jersey by leading the break over all four categorised climbs, and the American crested the final ascent alone after his two accomplices had failed to match his pace in the closing stages.
Cooke was also swept up in the last 10km as counter attacks came from the field, and Sagan temporarily infiltrated a five-man move before George Bennett (RadioShack) and Carter Jones (Bissell) pressed on as a twosome.
That duo were swept up just 1.5km from home, by which point the sprint trains were in full flight and readying themselves for a flat-out finish. Van Avermaet was the first to kick as the riders swept onto the closing straight, but Sagan bided his time before peeling off to the right and pressing on for his 15th success of the season.
Stage one result and general classification
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling, 2:26:00
2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team, same time
3 Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, st
4 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard, st
5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team, st
6 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff, st
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin, st
8 Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, st
9 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp, st
10 Christopher Baldwin (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling, st
77 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +4:49