The USA Pro Cycling Challenge Stage 5 from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs on Friday ended with group sprint that resulted in a second stage win for Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda). There was a bit of confusion near the end: at the second of three circuits of downtown Colorado Springs, Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) apparently thought it was the final lap, leapt out in front only to find no one following him. The move cost him a potential stage win as well as the possibility of holding onto the Sprint Jersey. On the final round it appeared Farrar had been boxed in, but the powerful sprinter found a hole and powered past the opposition for the stage win in addition to reclaiming the sprinter’s jersey.

It was cool much of the day, with rain from time to time including some rain in Colorado Springs. There was even a possibility of large hail. That failed to materialize. But arm warmers were in evidence, and rain gear was on and off during the race. A 7-man breakaway was established early in the day, at one point holding over 6 minutes over the peloton. The main group took its time to reel in the break, finally absorbing them in the suburbs of Colorado Springs, beautifully setting up the group finish.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) was second over the line, along with the rest of the peloton with no time difference. There is still no time difference for the race leader, with Tejay van Garderen retaining the Yellow Jersey over Christian Vande Velde. Tom Danielson continues as King of the Mountain. There are two King of the Mountain sections in the 6th Stage, Golden-Boulder on Saturday.

With two major climbs, several sprint lines and a steep uphill finish on Flagstaff Mountain above Boulder, it looks like the whole field is open. Should be another interesting day…


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