Stage 2 – BMC Keeps Yellow, Nate Brown Makes it a Race…
Mike Tomlinson, of BikeSport, witnessed these exciting Stage Two results at the USA Pro Challenge.
Brown, Garmin Cannondale, (pictured) started up the five mile climb to the USAPC Stage 2 summit finish at Arapahoe Basin with a two minute lead on a 40 rider peloton. The bunch was down to six when they caught him. After the race he said “When I started the final climb with a two-minute lead I thought I had a chance. When it was two K and I had a one-minute lead I thought I still had a chance. But Rohan just drove the pace so high and I had ridden so much so hard I couldn’t even get on their wheel when they passed me with about 500 meters to go.”
Brent Bookwalter came around Dennis Rohan to take the win, put BMC one – two on the podium. and keep BMC in yellow. BMC drove the pace from the start, never giving the break more than a couple of minutes. Bookwalter said he was pulling in on the reins following the Rabbit Ears Pass climb to keep the team from running down the break early.
The race started from Steamboat Springs and ended in a summit finish at A-Basin. It had three significant climbs, with only the final ascent to the finish playing a decisive role in the stage win and the GC battle. Taylor Phinney, crowd favorite and Stage 1 winner, stayed with the lead group until the final climb. As the chase for Brown heated up, he dropped with most of the remainder of the peloton, finishing 41st. While he lost yellow to teammate Bookwalter, he retained the Points Lead and the Green Jersey.
Stage three will feature a tough climb over Independence Pass, then a long, fast descent into Aspen. With Bookwalter only six seconds in the GC lead there should be plenty of fireworks.