Leipheimer wins stage, claims lead

Wed, 24 Aug 05:39:00 2011

Radioshack's Levi Leipheimer won the first stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a 160-km route from Salida, Colorado.

2011 Levi Leipheimer - 0

The American rider pulled away from the lead group with 500m remaining to cross the finish line in Crested Butte in just under four-and-a-half hours.

Sergio Luis Henao of Colombia came in second, followed by Frank Schleck of Luxembourg. Tour de France winner Cadel Evans was fourth.

Victory for Leipheimer saw him claim the overall lead of the race with compatriot Christian Vande Velde, who finished fifth on the stage, 11 seconds behind on the GC in second.

"I made the move early," said Leipheimer. "That was a first for me. I've never won a race with an explosive style. So, I guess in my old age, I'm learning new tricks.

"I feel great. I'm in the best form of my year. But that's just one component. It's now also about the strength of my team and the other competitors."

The race continues on Wednesday with stage two, a 210km ride from Gunnison to Aspen which includes two climbs that reach over 3,500m.


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