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"Richie [Porte] and Chris [Froome] were also really good. They were playing a team role today, as they will be doing all race, and they came back for plenty of bottles during the stage. It’s not every day you see a Tour de France...

Photo: Sirotti










20.08.2013 @ 14:32 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Joe Dombrowski stays in the hunt for overall honours at the USA Pro Challenge after witnessing Peter Sagan (Cannondale) get off to a winning start in Aspen, while Chris Froome voluntarily played the role of water carrier.


Team Sky’s elected leader finished the opening stage in the main group alongside Josh Edmondson, just five seconds back on Sagan, who had outsprinted Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) in a reduced bunch finish.


Dombrowski is Team Sky’s highest-ranked rider in 18th position, with Edmondson 35th heading into a mountainous second stage.

After the stage, Sky Sports Director Dan Hunt was pleased with what he had seen and was not concerned by Dombrowski’s slight time losses. In particular, Hunt was heaping praise on the sacrifices made by Richie Porte and Tour de France conqueror Chris Froome who both, rather unusually, willingly assumed the role of water carriers during the first stage.


“It was a chaotic finale and these things happen sometimes, especially when climbers like Joe have to sprint it out with some of the fastest men in the sport,” Hunt explained on the Sky website. “All in all he rode a really good stage, as did the whole team. This is Josh and Joe’s first real race at altitude this season so to finish in that main group is pleasing. “Danny [Pate] and Ian [Boswell] finished not far behind them, and they buried themselves in those last 10km to pull that group back which included Sagan. Fair play to them for achieving that. Richie [Porte] and Chris [Froome] were also really good. They were playing a team role today, as they will be doing all race, and they came back for plenty of bottles during the stage. It’s not every day you see a Tour de France winner doing that but it shows the character both he and Richie have got.


“It was up and down all stage and those short, sharp climbs at altitude really push you into the red. There were plenty of riders getting dropped on the first lap, and by the time we’d made it onto the third one there were some big splits in the bunch.”

Stage 2 in the USA Pro Challenge promises, or threatens depending on your point of view, to be an undulating affair.


“The rest of the guys are fine and we’ve limited our losses well today ahead of a big stage tomorrow. Independence Pass is a huge climb to kick things off and then the ascent at Moonstone Road is another punchy one which ramps up to 15% over 3km. That could cause some damage so we’ll have to make sure we’re ready for any eventuality.”



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