Notable Quotes from Stage 2 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
Tejay van Garderen (USA)
BMC Racing Team
On today’s stage:
"Today was looking a bit like yesterday, it wasn’t 22 riders, but it was 12, and there were some big names up the road. It wasn’t a weak breakaway. We were lucky to have Frank Kevin Pipp in there, he’s a strong climber and GC rider, so that took the pressure off the team; it was up to the other teams to chase. They did a good job chasing, and we put some guys on the front with 20 km to go. It all worked out. I wasn’t going into the last 4 km thinking I was going to win, but I knew I was going to try. When I looked over my shoulder and I saw Christian Vande Velde on my wheel, I thought he was in a perfect position to outsprint me, but at this altitude, I think he may have had trouble with his acceleration."
On his record:
"Last year at Tour of Utah was my first and only pro victory, and it was a time trial, so I didn’t have my hands in the air. Today was my first road stage win. I have been counting, and I have eight second-places in my career, and a lot of thirds and fourths."
On his competition with Christian Vande Velde:
"Christian certainly looks like he’s riding strong. He was good in Utah, and he looks even better here now. I think if I can hold him, and not let him get away, I can beat him in the time trial. I’m confident in saying that. But there are also guys like Ivan Rovny, Levi Leipheimer and Chris Homer, and there are two more summit finishes to go, as well as the Aspen stage, which is not easy. It’s far from over."
On his earliest memories of Christian Vande Velde:
"I’ve been a big fan of Christian Vande Velde since I was 11. I remember him. I watched the 1999 Tour de France and all the American teams were there along with Christian Vande Velde, Frank Schleck and George Hincapie. They were my idols back in the day."
On aggressive riding for the next stages:
"Well, the layout of the course won’t calm down. Tomorrow is a hard stage, and the dirt road climb was especially hard last year. We also have to go through Independence Pass to get to the finish. And even in Stage 5 in Colorado Springs, we have to go straight up into the climb. It’s a straight break and only guys who have the legs can handle it. It won’t be easy."
On competition with the Columbian riders:
"The Columbian riders have shown they are super-strong and are good at handling high altitudes because they are already adapted. It’s definitely hard to keep them under control. They ride aggressive and attack and sometimes they can break the normal flow of the race ─ which adds another element."
Christian Vande Velde (USA)
On today’s performance:
"I am really happy with my ride today and very proud of how the team is riding here in Colorado. As an American team based in Boulder, this race is a special one for us. The team is ultra-motivated, we’ve animated the race the first two days and we hope to continue to do so as the week goes on."
Tom Danielson (USA)
On today’s performance:
"It was a good day. I felt really strong today, especially after yesterday’s performance. I always suffer on this climb (up to Mt. Crested Butte) so, I’m happy to have it past me and move on to the parts of the race I like the most."
Rafael Infantino (COL)
On Stage 2:
"Today was a complicated day. It would have been impossible if the riders hadn’t worked together, but fortunately, we were motivated, and we did work well together. But the riders in the peloton were better and caught us. We tried to stay away to win the stage, but it was very hard. There was just not enough power in the last kilometer."