Colorado’17 St.4: The Denver Storm!
Colorado Classic’17: The final stage of the 2017 Colorado Classic was racing the elements to finish before an imminent storm that was brewing on the horizon. PEZ photographer, Darrell Parks was there for the race fun and managed to stay dry to send the best photos from stage 4 of the Classic.
The Rwanda team had the best socks
Stage 4 in the words of the BMC team: Manuel Senni (BMC) claimed the first professional win of his career with the overall victory at the inaugural Colorado Classic after crossing the line safely in the bunch on stage 4. After a commanding performance on stage 3 which saw Senni attack on the final climb and go clear with Sergei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly powered by Maxxis) to finish second on the stage and inherit the race lead, Senni started the final day of racing with a 15-second lead over Tvetcov.
The sun was out for the start
10 laps of a 12km circuit through the heart of Denver wrapped up the four-day race and with a predicted bunch sprint on the cards, BMC Racing Team only needed to control the race to protect Senni’s leader’s jersey.
The park flowers were enjoying the good weather and the race
The UnitedHealthcare team were looking for stage success
Colorado local, Taylor Phinney, showed his presence at the front
Four riders escaped early in the stage and with no rider posing a threat to Senni’s lead, BMC Racing Team was happy to let the quartet go clear.
Jelly Belly were protecting 2nd overall Serghei Tvetcov
BMC Racing Team assumed control of the race and allowed the breakaway to gain a maximum advantage of two minutes on lap two of ten.
The break passed the Komarany Rookery
With a bunch sprints up for grabs, the sprinters’ teams were happy to contribute to the chase and with the breakaway well and truly under control, the gap remained around 1:30 lap after lap as the peloton navigated the Denver circuit course.
Back through the park and the storm was on its way
With two laps to go, the breakaway’s advantage dipped to under one minute for the first time and from there, the gap was quickly reduced as Antonio Molina (Caja Rujal-Seguros RGA) and Ruben Companioni (Holowesko-Citadel Cycling Team) attempted to stay away from the charging bunch.
Would the rain stay away to the finish?
The catch was made 11km from the finish line and the fast pace prevented any further attacks. BMC Racing Team took control at the front of the bunch and positioned Senni well right until the flamme rouge.
There was a little bit of ‘argy bargy’ in the sprint
Senni ensured no gaps were formed and engaged in the sprint to cross the line in 10th place and secure the overall victory. Brent Bookwalter crossed the line in the bunch to maintain seventh place on the General Classification.
The win went to Mihkel Räim of the Israel Cycling Academy
The bunch sprint was a hard fought battle, but Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy) came through on the inside and held off Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare) and Jose Rodriguez (Elevate-KHS) to the line.
A few quick words with the winner ahead of the storm
With the race over, the presentations took place under dark skies with the ever stronger chance of a downpour ruining the celebrations.
Final overall winner, Manuel Senni (BMC), on the podium
The Winner’s Interview with Manuel Senni (BMC):
Congratulations, Manuel! How does it feel to win the Colorado Classic?
“It’s an amazing feeling! I’m very happy. The team did an unbelievable job for me. I have to say thank you one thousand times to my teammates.”
How was the last stage for you?
“The team rode for me all day and I was still in the front in the last kilometer to stay out of trouble and take no risk, so I could even do the sprint. I finished tenth, which was enough to keep the jersey. It was perfect.”
How much confidence does this give you for your next races?
“Racing in Utah and Colorado at altitude is really good for the shape and condition and my win today definitely gives me more confidence for the rest of the season. Normally, the plan is to go to Quebec and Montreal next and probably Greg Van Avermaet will be there as the leader, so I will be there to work hard for him. I hope I am still in good form so I can go there and help him even more than I did last year.”
You are the winner of the inaugural Colorado Classic. What did you think of the style of racing?
“I think the smaller teams made it easier to attack. It’s harder for the teams to organize themselves immediately and start the chase. Like yesterday with the climbs, the group was really small so I could attack and the teams behind didn’t have the number of riders to respond. It was a very nice race in general. There are always a lot of people on the road at the American races. I really like to come here to race.”
The stage podium of 2nd. Travis McCabe (UnitedHealthcare), stage winner Mihkel Räim (Israel Cycling Academy) and 3rd. Jose Rodriguez (Elevate-KHS)
Team Novo Nordisk’s Fabio Calabria closed out the race with the FIRSTBANK Most Aggressive rider jersey: “Today was the perfect ending to a great but challenging two weeks of racing in the United States. It felt great to show our jersey off the front throughout Denver today. The Colorado Classic has been an exciting race, and I was proud to represent Team Novo Nordisk on the podium for the final stage of a great race. Thanks to race organizers for putting on a dynamic and innovative event.”
# You can see more of Darrell Parks’ work at his web-site HERE. #
Men’s Colorado Classic 2017 Stage 4 Result:
1. Mihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy in 2:32:50
2. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare
3. Jose Rodriguez (Mex) Elevate-KHS
4. Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini at 0:01
5. Joseph Lewis (Aus) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear
6. Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
7. Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
8. Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
9. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
10. Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC at 0:02.
Men’s Colorado Classic 2017 Final Overall Result:
1. Manuel Senni (Ita) BMC in 12:00:35
2. Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis at 0:15
3. Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac at 0:31
4. TJ Eisenhart (USA) Holowesko-Citadel p/b Hincapie Sportswear at 0:33
5. Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo at 0:44
6. Sepp Kuss (USA) Rally Cycling at 1:05
7. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC at 2:16
8. Miguel Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA at 2:19
9. Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 2:21
10. Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare at 2:22.