PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Photog’s View: USA Pro Challenge Stage 1

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Photog’s View: USA Pro Challenge Stage 1
uspro13-DP02RacingBegins-38 The USA Pro Challenge returns this week for its third edition with seven days of racing in the high mountains of Colorado and a host of top WorldTour and local talent on display. Ace photographer Darrell Parks was roadside at Stage 1 in Aspen and here’s his view of the race through the lense.


Words and pics by Darrell Parks

The opening stage of the 2013 edition of the USA Pro Challenge was a relatively short 97 kilometer stage consisting of 3 laps of a hilly circuit between Aspen and Snowmass. The parcours for this one was tailor made for a rider like Peter Sagan and he didn’t disappoint. With 3000 feet of climbing per lap it was certainly no Saturday club ride.

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The racing started immediately after the neutral parade laps concluded. Team Jamis-Hagens Berman rider Matt Cook was the first to strike just moments after passing the kilometer zero sign. When all was said and done Team Jelly Belly rider Ian Burnett and Champion Systems Craig Lewis were in the break as well.

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Matt Cook strikes out early.

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The break quickly built up a lead of about 2 minutes. They worked well together and were able to continue with that gap for the better part of the race. Road closures made it difficult for those of us not on Photo motos to get around the course today so we were limited to only a few spots to shoot from.

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Craig Lewis animated the day’s break.

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The roads to the KOM in Snowmass were riddled with wildflowers and beautiful open meadows. On the last lap the clouds were blocking out the sun and creating a visually stunning situation of shadows and light. The clouds were so dramatic they ended up taking front and center in most of my scenics from stage one.

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As we rushed back to capture the finish we were met by yet another road block on the only road into Aspen. This turned out to be a hard stop as apparently a backpack had been abandoned on the bridge into town and triggered the “Bomb Threat” initiative. The race course went directly under the bridge and was being shut down as well. At this point in time the race was now due to enter town in about 15 minutes.

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The police made a last minute decision to allow the race to continue under the bridge and we were led through the checkpoint. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to get the car parked and get through the crowds to shoot the finish from the street. As I was running through the crowds toward the finish I could here the race announcers yelling 1K to go. At this point I knew that I had to make my way towards the fencing and hope I would be able to catch a glimpse of the finish.

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I had just enough time to turn the camera on and grab a shot of Peter Sagan celebrating his 15th victory of the season. Of course he followed up the win with one of his signature wheelies on the way back to the podium presentation.

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Visit www.darrellparks.com for more.


Stage 1 Results:
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:26:00
2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
3 Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
4 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
6 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
7 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
8 Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
9 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
10 Christopher Baldwin (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling

General Classification After Stage 1:
1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 2:26:00
2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
3 Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
4 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
6 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
7 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
8 Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team
9 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp
10 Christopher Baldwin (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling

 

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