Tejay van Garderen defends USA Pro Challenge title as Alex Howes takes final stage in Denver

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) successfully defended his USA Pro Challenge title on Sunday, finishing in sixth place on the final stage in Denver to secure the overall victory.

The American completed the seven-stage, UCI 2.HC-ranked race with a one minute and 32 second advantage over Garmin-Sharp’s Tom Danielson. Romanian Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly) completed the podium in third.

Top-placed British rider was Richard Handley (Rapha Condor JLT) in 43rd place, with team-mate Hugh Carthy one place further back in 44th.

Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp) took the final stage victory, book-ended the race with success after also winning the opening stage.

The race will be remembered as much for one other factor: it was veteran German Jens Voigt final race as a professional cyclist before retirement. The ever-popular Voigt was, of course, part of the day’s escape group and netted the race’s prize for most aggressive rider.

USA Pro Challenge 2014
Final overall classification
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing in 20-05-42

2. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1-32
3. Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly at 1-45
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1-49
5. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing at 3-11
6. Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development at 3-31
7. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Netapp-Endura at 3-35
8. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 3-43
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing at 3-44
10. Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo at 5-35

Stage 7 of the 2014 Taylor Phinney joins the start line, USA Pro Challenge, Boulder to Golden to Denver, Colorado

Taylor Phinney joins the start line

Jens Voigt and Michael Rogers in escape, Stage 7 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, Boulder to Golden to Denver, Colorado

Jens Voigt and Michael Rogers in escape

Jens Voigt retires, Stage 7 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, Boulder to Golden to Denver, Colorado

Jens Voigt retires

Tejay van Garderen leads victory celebrations, Stage 7 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, Boulder to Golden to Denver, Colorado

Tejay van Garderen leads victory celebrations