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"I came here to help Brent originally, then found my legs, and ended up taking the yellow jersey. I have to thank him for quietly supporting me for the general classification." 

Photo: Sirotti








24.08.2015 @ 08:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Rohan Dennis won the overall of the USA Pro Challenge Sunday as teammate Brent Bookwalter claimed runner-up honors and the BMC Racing Team took home the team title for the third straight year.

BMC Racing Team's Taylor Phinney, who won the opening stage and led the race for a day, finished runner-up to John Murphy (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) on the final stage in Denver.

Dennis won two stages, was runner-up on two others and took home the "king of the mountains" title. He became the first non-American to win the race in its five-year history. He bested Bookwalter - who won Tuesday's mountain-top finish and led the race for two days - by 40 seconds. Rob Britton (Team SmartStop) was third, at 91 seconds.

"I had a lot of fun this week and hopefully I can come back next year and do it again," Dennis said. "I have to take my hat off to the team. They never put any pressure on me. I came here to help Brent originally, then found my legs, and ended up taking the yellow jersey. I have to thank him for quietly supporting me for the general classification." 

Bookwalter, who has finished runner-up in two other week-long stage races since joining the BMC Racing Team in 2008, called it the best performance of his career, highlighted by his solo win on Tuesday's mountain-top finish at Arapahoe Basin.

"Personally, it was a good, diverse week for me," he said. "But really, the highlight was the way the team rode. It was a team effort from everyone like the young guys - Manuel Senni and Kilian Frankiny - to our road captain, Michael Schär - to Rohan and me, Taylor, Pete Stetina and Damiano Caruso - who are some of the more experienced guys. Everyone was doing their job and having a lot of fun doing it."

Dennis's victory was the BMC Racing Team's 31st of the season, bettering the team-record 30 victories achieved in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. It was also the ninth win in nine days for the team that had won the USA Pro Challenge with Tejay van Garderen the past two years.

Dennis has six individual victories to his credit this year - including a win in the opening stage time trial of the Tour de France. He also had a hand in team time trial wins at the Tour de France and the Critérium du Dauphiné.

"We had a couple days of training before the race and saw how strong Rohan was and how well Brent was riding," BMC Racing Team Sport Director Jackson Stewart said. "So we knew Rohan would be really strong in Friday's time trial. But to finish first and second overall this week? I don't think anyone had planned for that. So to have it happen was great."

The BMC Racing Team finished 1-2 at the USA Pro Challenge for the second time in the past three years. In 2013, Tejay van Garderen took the win ahead of teammate Mathias Frank. The BMC Racing Team finished two riders on the podium on four of the seven stages and at least one in all but Saturday's stage.


Bookwalter had previously finished runner-up at the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Alberta, both in 2013. Dennis has won four one-week races in his career: Thüringen Rundfahrt in 2012, the Tour of Alberta (ahead of Bookwalter) in 2013 and the Santos Tour Down Under this January. Van Garderen did not defend his back-to-back titles won in 2013 and 2014, opting instead to compete in the Vuelta a España.


Dennis chipped a tooth in the team's champagne celebration. "I went for another drink and someone on the team accidentally hit the bottle. It smashed into my front teeth and knocked out one of the fillings I have had for about 20 years," Dennis said.



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