Dennis Soloes to Victory in Stage 4 of USA Pro Challenge
Team BMC Racing's today soloed to stage victory in stage 4 of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge and took the general classification lead in the process.
Dennis accelerated on the final climb, which concluded the 202.5 kilometer Queen's stage from Aspen to Breckenridge, and passed eventual third-place finisher Robbie Squire of the Hincapie Racing Team, who had attacked at the bottom in courageous fashion. Dennis soloed across the finish line with his hands raised in the air to celebrate his fourth individual win on the season.
"I used Robbie (Squire) as a bit of a carrot, you could say," Dennis explained to RoadCycling.com after being celebrated on the podium. "I was playing mind games with myself the whole way up. I was waiting for the one-kilometer-to-go banner to the king of the mountain. Then I saw the 200-meter sign and the crowd was going nuts. I thought I would click into a bigger gear and go. It hurt still, I won't lie. But there was the adrenaline of knowing you are going over the top first and there was a gap. That gives you a bit of a boost," the Australian continued.
Dennis became the third BMC Racing Team rider to wear the Pearl Izumi yellow leader's jersey in this year's edition of the popular race. Teammate Taylor Phinney won stage 1 on Monday before Bookwalter soloed to victory Tuesday ahead of Dennis at the summit of Arapahoe Basin. Wednesday, Bookwalter kept the lead as Dennis finished runner-up to Kiel Reijnen of Team UnitedHealthcare.
Bookwalter, who held the general classification lead going into today's stage, explained it was big advantage to have teammate Damiano Caruso, a top 10 general classification finisher in this year's Giro d'Italia, taking part in the day's breakaway.
"The crosswinds and the Cannondale - Garmin team's aggressive riding sort of thwarted Caruso's hopes, but it was still nice to have him up there," Bookwalter said, grateful of his teammate's help. "I think it is a testament to the depth of the team and the motivation of the team here to be riding the front of the race every day and then to put a guy in the break to play for the stage win."
Friday's stage 5 of USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2015 will present the peloton with race leader Dennis' favorite dish: a 13.5-kilometer individual time trial. Ahead of the time trial Dennis leads Bookwalter by 13 seconds while Squire is in third position, 26 seconds behind.
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