Tour de France podium finishers to race through Aspen

By David O. Williams
Real AspenJuly 24, 2011
At least two of the three podium finishers in today’s Tour de France will be in Colorado next month for the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge Aug. 22-28, including stages in Aspen and Vail. But will the last two overall Tour winners be here? That’s the big question.

BMC Racing, the team of today’s winner, Australian Cadel Evans, has confirmed for the first major stage race in Colorado in decades. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the 34-year-old former mountain biking World Cup winner will be here.

The other two riders on the podium today after the race ceremonially made its way along the Champs-Elysees in Paris — brothers Andy (second) and Frank Schleck (third) of Luxembourg’s Team Leopold Trek — confirmed for the Colorado race in March.

The Saxo Bank Sungard team of three-time Tour champion Alberto Contador also has confirmed for next month’s stage race, which begins with a prologue in Colorado Springs on Monday, Aug. 22, and ends with Stage 6 from Golden to Denver on Sunday, Aug. 28.

Schleck brothers.

But Contador, who finished a disappointing fifth in today’s Tour, said he won’t determine whether he’ll race in Colorado until after the Tour. Contador faces an Aug. 1 appeal by the International Cycling Union World Anti-Doping Agency after the Spanish cycling federation cleared him of doping charges for a 2010 positive for tiny traces of clenbuterol.

Today’s top American in the Tour, Team Garmin-Cervelo rider Tom Danielson, who wound up ninth (8 minutes, 15 seconds behind Evans), will definitely be riding in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which features a time trial in Vail on Thursday, Aug. 25, and a stage from Avon to Steamboat Springs on Friday, Aug. 26.

Regardless of whether Evans and Contador compete, USA Pro Cycling Challenge organizers are pleased with the field.

“We are excited to have secured commitments from such world-class teams in the competition’s first year,” USA Pro Cycling Challenge’s Shawn Hunter said in a release last spring. “We’ve set high goals for this race and the addition of these teams shows great promise for our future and cycling in the United States.”

A spokeswoman could not be reached for comment Sunday morning.

Top 10 general classification results in the 2011 Tour de France:

1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team, 86:12:22

2. Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek, 1:34 back

3. Fränk Schleck (Lux) Leopard Trek, 2:30

4. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar, 3:20

5. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard, 3:57

6. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi, 4:55

7. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre – ISD, 6:05

8. Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale, 7:23

9. Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo, 8:15

10. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, 10:11


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