Saturday, August 25, 2012

Well, Look Who's King of the Moutains

40-year-old Jens Voigt.

Having been in the breakaway for three of the first five stages of the US Pro Cycling Challenge, and after winning Stage 4 on a 90+ mile solo attack through the wind and rain, Jens was at it again today, animating and controlling the 14-man break and then attacking at the base of Flagstaff Mountain. He couldn't hold his lead - Rory Sutherland won the stage - but Jens finished third, and in doing so became the surprise winner of the King of the Mountains (KOM) competition for the challenge, which finishes tomorrow with a 9-mile time trial in Denver. No KOM points are available, but don't bet against Jens winning the stage. He rode a couple of really strong ones in the Tour de France earlier this summer.

Kudos also go out to Levi Leipheimer, who has played his cards closed to his vest throughout the race, but finally played a trump on today's climb up Flagstaff Mountain. Finishing third, Levi went from third to first in the general classification, which puts him in a great position to win the final yellow jersey tomorrow. But it won't be easy. Levi's an excellent time-trialist, but he'll have his hands full with young Tejay van Garderen. Going into tomorrow's race, Levi has a 21-second advantage over his young compatriot. I expect it to be a close finish between the two for the overall win.

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