Didier wins stage, Van Garderen retains lead

August 24, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

NEW YORK: Luxembourg’s Laurent Didier won yesterday’s fifth stage of the USA Pro Challenge cycling race, while American Tejay Van Garderen finished ninth to maintain his 20-second overall lead.

Trek racer Didier captured the 167.6-kilometer (104.14-mile) stage from Woodland Park to Breckenridge in three hours, 50 minutes and 38 seconds with Colombian Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle second and Canada’s Rob Britton third, both in the same time.

“I didn’t feel that good in the beginning. The first 40k was quite hard,” Didier said.

“The really big thing here is the altitude.”

Van Garderen was 1:33 off the pace in ninth but that was enough to keep the BMC Racing rider’s margin over second-place overall rider Rafael Majka of Poland, who placed 10th in the stage just behind the American. “It was definitely a tough day,” Van Garderen said.  

Romanian Serghei Tvetcov jumped from fifth to third in the overall competition but remained 37 seconds adrift of Van Garderen.

American Tom Danielson was fourth, 39 seconds off the pace, with countryman Matthew Busche another 12 seconds back in the contest.

Saturday’s penultimate stage is a 10-mile (16.1-kilometer) individual time trial in Vail that follows along the Vail Pass and features a steep climb up the final three miles.