Levi Takes Back Pro Challenge Lead
Leipheimer wins uphill time trial
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Levi Leipheimer rode back into the lead of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Thursday in Colorado, claiming a half-second victory in the 16.1-kilometer time trial and re-taking the leader’s jersey by 11 seconds. Leipheimer was briefly in on top overall when he won the tour’s first stage on Monday, then saw his lead slip away after dropping time to Colorado native and HTC Garmin rider Tejay van Garderen on a rainy descent into Aspen on Wednesday. The Stage 3 time trial climbed 1,800 feet from Vail Village to Vail Pass, at more than 10,000 feet elevation. Riding a time trial bike, Leipheimer saw a 17-second cushion over second-place rider Christian Vande Velde, who was on a road bike, shrink to less than a second by the finish. “That last kilometer really, really hurt,” Leipheimer said. The race, so far, has been unkind to Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, who sits 1:18 back in seventh, and Frank and Andy Schleck, who are 2 and 7 minutes down, respectively. Should Leipheimer hang onto the lead through Sunday’s finish in Denver, it would be his second stage-race victory this month after winning the Tour of Utah on August 14. Friday’s Stage 4, a 138-kilometer ride from Avon to Steamboat Springs, features two major climbs.
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