Danielson king of the Queen Stage

Danielson king of the Queen Stage

Garmin-Sharp goes ‘crazy’ to take the stage and the yellow
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Tom Danielson pedals his bike toward the podium after winning Stage 3 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. “Everybody, everybody on the team had a hand in this ... and we pulled it off,” Danielson said at the postrace news conference in the historic Wheeler Opera House in downtown Aspen.
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Worried that his wife would yell at him for looking back with a lead late in a race, Tom Danielson walked away from his Stage 3, Queen Stage victory Wednesday in Aspen with a valuable lesson learned: “With 2K to go, I didn’t think I was going to win,” the Fort Lewis College alumnus said. “So, don’t look back.”
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Tom Danielson takes a victory lap in downtown Aspen after winning the Queen Stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Wednesday. Danielson won the 130.6-mile stage from Gunnison to Aspen in 5 hours, 2 minutes, 6 seconds.
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Fort Lewis College alumnus and Boulder resident Tom Danielson gets his victory kisses on the podium Wednesday in Aspen. The stage win was his 30th professional victory and his first since 2009.
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Tom Danielson crossed the finish line first Wednesday in Aspen, thanks to an aggressive strategy by his Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda team. “We had some crazy plans, but fortunately we had the legs,” said Danielson, 34, who also reclaimed the climber’s jersey with Wednesday’s victory.
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The cyclists, who went over 12,000 feet twice Wednesday, will get back to 12,000 feet Thursday when they go back over Independence Pass on the 97-mile stage that finishes in the resort of Beaver Creek in Eagle County.
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“That was awesome,” Tom Danielson said, who now lives in Boulder. “When you go over a Colorado climb, and you’re a Colorado guy ... it’s a dream come true.”
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When Tom Danielson summited Independence Pass, there was a thunderous ovation in downtown Aspen as spectators acknowledged his break on the Jumbotron screens. “I dreamed about going over Independence Pass alone,” said Danielson, a former collegiate national mountain bike champion. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”
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Based on a tiebreaker, Christian Vande Velde will wear the yellow jersey today for Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. “The biggest thing was causing mayhem early,” Vande Velde said of Garmin’s attack plan during Stage 3.
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