Kiel Reijnen Sprints to 2nd in Final Stage of USA Pro Challenge, Secures Sprint Leader Jersey Overall
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team lined up in Boulder, Colorado this morning to race the 126-kilometer stage 7 to Golden, up Lookout Mountain, then across to Denver for finishing circuits on the streets of downtown, completing the 2014 USA Pro Challenge. The team started stage 1 in Aspen with fireworks when the riders executed the stage perfectly to set up Kiel Reijnen for the sprint victory. Reijnen was awarded the overall race leader jersey, sprint leader jersey, and the best Colorado rider jersey for his performance, while teammate Danny Summerhill was presented with the most aggressive rider jersey for his enormous breakaway effort and attack on intermediate sprint points. Reijnen and the team defended the green sprint leader jersey through all stages preceding today’s finale.
Jonny Clarke raced into a 12-rider breakaway promptly upon leaving the city of Boulder, but a group of five attacked from within on the way up Lookout Mountain, leaving the rest of the group to return to the peloton. The main peloton splintered into several groups, with the strongest riders on the day comprising the main chase group racing towards Denver.
With the two available intermediate sprint competitions taken by the breakaway, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team turned their attention towards bringing back the breakaway and positioning Kiel Reijnen for the sprint finish in Denver. The breakaway had an advantage of 1 minute and 5 seconds when they began the 4 downtown circuits, but the men of the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train each took pulls at the front of the chase group.
The breakaway was captured on the first lap in downtown Denver, but multiple new attacks kept the lead group chasing to the very end. In the last race of his professional career, Ben Day took enormous pulls to bring the break back and put Kiel at the front of the race in the final laps. With all of the attacks caught within the final 700 meters, it was up to the sprinters and their lead out trains to decide the winner of the final stage. In the final sprint, Kiel Reijnen just missed the victory, landing second on the podium and successfully securing the sprint leader green jersey for the 7-stage race. Green jersey winner Kiel Reijnen commented, “Ben Day and the team gave everything they had for me today and the everyday this week. I’m broken hearted that I didn’t pull off the win for them today, but it’s been amazing to race in front of home crowds and take home the green jersey for the team and sponsors.”