A couple of days before the start of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, 40-year-old Jens Voigt was asked about retirement. “That is not in my vocabulary. Sorry.”
The RadioShack cyclist demonstrated what he meant by that statement on Thursday when he took a solo victory on the 97-mile Stage 4 by nearly 3 minutes.
The Aspen to Beaver Creek stage started with a climb over Independence Pass at more than 12,000 feet elevation, then crossed the Continental Divide at Tennessee Pass. After descending to Minturn, the peloton faced a 2.5 mile climb back to the finish at the Beaver Creek ski resort.
The German is known for his Chuck Norris-style exploits; this will be another chapter in the Voigt saga.
Meanwhile, the battle for General Classification shifted back to BMC’s Tejay van Garderen, who still has the same time as Garmin-Sharp’s Christian Vande Velde. On Thursday, van Garderen finished ahead of Vande Velde, which is why the lead went back to him.
The two have been tied since Tuesday, when van Garderen won the stage just ahead of Vande Velde.
Friday’s Stage 5 is a 118-mile bike race from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs. There’s just one major climb, 11,500-foot Hoosier Pass.
The race starts at 10:15 a.m. (Mountain time) with an expected finish about 3:50 p.m. Television coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. on NBCSports; live online streaming is available at USA Cycling Challenge RadioShack Tourtracker.