The 3rd running of this event begins on Monday 19th August.
It features a stellar line-up of riders,including TJ Van Garderen,Peter Sagan,Damiano Caruso,Andy Schleck,Chris Froome,Richie Porte,Christan Vande Velde,Tom Danielson,Andrew Talansky,Tim Duggan,Mick Rogers,John Darwin Atapuma,Philip Deignan and Javier Acevedo.
Vande Velde won the event in 2012,beating Van Garderen by 21 seconds.
There are 7 stages and a good mix for the riders.
There aren’t many sprinters here and it looks like being a win for Peter Sagan,who has been in America since 5th August,preparing at altitude for this event and the World Championships.
Stage 2 looks hard!The riders climb to Independence Pass,which is the highest point on any professional race at 3657 metres.Extreme altitude can do strange things to athletes and I would look to riders that are used to this,particularly Colombians!
The final climb is 15%,so it’ll be a small group of riders that reach the end of the stage.
Stage 4(The Queen Stage) is another for the climbers.Again,the riders have to cope with high altitude and it’ll be a hard day in the saddle.The Bachelor Gulch climb is very hard with a maximum gradient of 18% and the final climb of 2km is also tough.
Stage 6 has a big climb in the middle of it but it’s too far out to make an impact on the day.The GC should be settled by now and this will be another day for the sprinters,or maybe a breakaway will succeed.
Stages 2,4 and 5 will be the most important for the GC riders and the rest will be for the sprinters.
Watch it live on Eurosport!