USA Pro Challenge: Roman Kreuziger first to Fort Collins
FORT COLLINS — The break survived — finally.
A breakaway yielded victory Saturday in Stage 6 of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge.
Roman Kreuziger, a World Tour rider on the Tinkoff-Saxo team, rode in the break all day and eventually pedaled away from the small lead group to win the 102-mile Loveland to Fort Collins race.
He crossed ahead of Javier Megias of Team Novo Nordisk, the runner-up who rides for the diabetes team.
Third place Saturday in downtown Fort Collins went to Leonard Basso of Trek Factory Racing.
The powerhouse BMC Racing Team safely ushered overall leader Rohan Dennis of Australia across the line with the main group. He retains the yellow jersey and a 44-second lead over teammate Brent Bookwalter, who wore yellow earlier this week for BMC.
Third overall is Rob Britton, the Canadian riding for Team Smartstop.
Dennis also retain his lead in the sprint competition as well as his lead in the King of the Mountains competition.
Tao Geoghegan Hart of Axeon Cycling carries the best young rider jersey into today’s final stage.
His Axeon teammate, Keegan Swirbul of Aspen, was scheduled to race in the USA Pro Challenge this year.
But he was sidelined by illness and was unable to start on the opening stage last Monday.
Robbie Squire of the Hincapie Racing Team was selected as the most aggressive rider for Saturday’s stage that included a climb to Rist Canyon and the torturing rollers around Horsetooth Reservoir.
Peter Sagan won the last time the USA Pro Challenge finished in Fort Colllins two years ago. Sagan also won the opening Aspen/Snowmass Circuit Race in 2013.
Alexandr Braico of Jelly Belly, a native of Moldovia, retains his status as the best Colorado rider. He’s a longtime Colorado resident.
The men’s race will close with the 68-mile Golden-to-Denver stage that includes an early climb of Lookout Mountain.
It will end with circuit laps in downtown Denver around Civic Center Park.
Tayler Wiles of DNA Cycling pulled away from a breakaway group of four riders to win the 58-mile Women’s USA Pro Challenge road race from Loveland to Fort Collins on Saturday.
Wiles broke free late with Lauren Komanski of Twenty16, Mara Abbott of the Amy D Foundation and overall leader Kristin Armstrong, also of Twenty16.
Wiles won the final sprint. Komanski finished second, :02 back.
Armstrong was third, :04 back.
Abbott, who lives in Boulder, finished fourth Saturday.
In the overall standings, Armstrong leads by 31 seconds over Wiles.
Abbott is third :51 back.
Aspen’s Abby Mickey, who was fourth in the opening time trial, finished in the pack for her UnitedHealthcare team.
The women’s three-stage race will close today with the Golden Circuit Race.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament Saturday.