Sagan wins first stage of USA Pro Challenge
Andy Schleck of Luxembourg (L), riding for Radioshack Leopard Trek, talks to Peter Sagan of Slovokia and Team Cannondale prior to the start of stage one of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, in Aspen, Colorado, on August 19, 2013. Sagan later won the opening stage, sprinting to the finish ahead of runner-up Greg Van Avermaet.
Sagan, the 2013 Tour de France sprint jersey winner, finished the 98 kilometer (60.9 mile) course in two hours, 26 minutes. He celebrated the circuit race win between Aspen to Snowmass Village by doing one of his trademark wheelies.
"Maybe I was the favorite for the people, but for me I'm very surprised. I should thank all my teammates because they were on the front," said Sagan."We are very happy when we take the victory for the team."
Sagan was followed closely by Belgium's Van Avermaet (BMC) in second and American Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare).
"I attacked," Sagan said. "We were a good group with eight riders. When I was on the front nobody wanted to work with me. After, I said, 'it's better waiting for the group so I can do a good sprint' and I won."
There were no time bonuses given on Monday so Sagan is tied on time with Van Avermaet and Reijnen.
France's Tony Gallopin finished fourth and Tejay van Garderen rounded out the top five.
Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky) finished 77th, 4:59 behind Sagan. Britain's Froome is racing in Colorado for the first time.
Tuesday's second stage is 203 kilometers from Aspen to Breckenridge.