Jens Voigt gave it another try Wednesday at the USA Pro Challenge. He bolted to the front with about 40 miles left in stage 3 and nearly claimed his 100th career win and third in the past year in the United States.
Voigt, in his 17th season, has made a career of solo wins. He won a stage of the Tour of California in May and he won solo a year ago at the USA Pro Challenge. It was cycling at its best to watch Voigt’s compact tucked in the final downhill stretches into Steamboat Springs.
Voigt didn’t win stage 3 this in Steamboat Springs, but in typical Voigt style, the soon-to-be 42-year-old German was gracious and honest.
“I was angry and disappointed,” said Voigt. “I was mad because I didn’t get the win, but I gave it a go. It’s better to get caught then to crash.”
With Voigt’s aggressive racing refreshing in the current status of pro cycling when team strategies have been become increasingly calculated, here are five random thoughts after the third stage of the weeklong race:
5. Jonathan Vaughters can recognize talent, most recently Lachlan Morton, the young Australian leading the race. But what is Vaughters doing with his vengeful, sarcastic and not particularly funny Twitter exploits? It’s just not becoming for a team owner.
4. Cycling need a young aggressive racer or two like Jens Voigt. The ageless German makes the sport exciting and another cyclist with the same approach would be refreshing.
3. The USA Pro Challenge is now the best stage race in the United States. The course profiles, the beauty of the Rockies and the race organization is superb. But as the biggest race in the country, where is a representative of USA Cycling? Note to Steve Johnson, president and CEO: Your organization looks disinterested when the governing body’s public relations person isn’t involved in the biggest event the country has to offer to the world stage.
2. Chris Froome’s name has barely been mentioned since he struggled in stage 1. Sky’s top rider in the race is Ian Boswell in 36th position. Is this is same team that dominated the Tour de France?
1. Joe Dombrowski, the young American who Sky was touting as its general classification hope, left the race before the start of stage 3. Dombrowski has been suffering with nosebleeds since stage 1 and he told reporters he had five nosebleeds in stage 2 and woke up Wednesday morning with a mouthful of blood. Sky’s team doctor pulled the rider from race. So many riders have continued riding in races when departing seemed to make sense for safety. As such, it’s nice to see a decision made with common sense at the forefront.