Quotes/Photos: USA Pro Challenge in Aspen - Aspen Real Life

Quotes/Photos: USA Pro Challenge in Aspen

See these great photos taken by Michele Cardamone of the USA Pro Challenge Stage 1 in Aspen, Colorado

Quotes/Photos: USA Pro Challenge in Aspen

Check out these incredible photos taken by my sister, Michele Cardamone, of Michele Cardamone Photography.

USA Pro Challenge Aspen Stage 1
Photo Credit: Michele Cardamone Photography
USA Pro Challenge Stage 1 Aspen 2013
Photo Credit: Michele Cardamone Photography


USA Pro Challenge Start in Aspen Michele Cardamone Photography
Photo Credit: Michele Cardamone Photography
Stage 1 Aspen 2013
Photo Credit: Michele Cardamone Photography


Stage 1 Aspen 2013
Photo Credit: Michele Cardamone Photography


[su_heading size=”18″]Quotes from the USA Pro Challenge in Aspen 2013 USA Pro Challenge Kick-Off Press Conference[/su_heading]


Christian Vande Velde (USA) 

Team Garmin-Sharp 

On anticipation for 2013 USA Pro Challenge: 

“This race is easily head-and-shoulders above all races and closest to my heart. From the fans to the epic climbs, I couldn’t imagine a better race to be my last in the United States. I think it’s so special and I can’t wait to see how many people come out this year to support.”

On physical preparation for the 2013 race: 

“I’m definitely behind from last year, but I’ve been trying to put the pieces together over the past couple of weeks. It doesn’t matter how I am, as long as we can get someone from Team Garmin-Sharp up on the podium in the end.”

Chris Froome (GBR) 

Team Sky ProCycling 

On adjusting to a new environment: 

“It’s been quite a pleasant surprise coming over here, and a major adjustment in terms of the altitude. You feel better as the days go on, but it adds a whole new dimension to the race. I’ve never done a race at this kind of altitude before.”

On Sky Procycling: 

“This race is really important to us and we’ve brought a strong team to be as competitive as we possibly can.”

On preparation after winning the Tour de France: 

“Since the Tour de France, it’s been such a surreal experience. I’m just glad to be back on the road again and I’m eager to race. This race is taking it to a whole different level, the altitude is similar to Nairobi, but this is something bigger.”

Richie Porte (AUS) 

Team Sky ProCycling 

On riding in the USA Pro Challenge after the Tour de France: 

“After the Tour de France, and the second year running that Team Sky ProCycling has won, we enjoyed our last month without a lot of time on the bike. Obviously, after the Tour de France, we had a pretty big after-party. I haven’t been doing the full gas effort, but I’ve been riding my bike.”

On his fitness: 

“I’m not really at my best, but that’s not to say I can’t be in there helping out my team. In my current shape, I’m not really looking forward to the climbs so much, but it’s going to be nice to struggle over Independence Pass.” 2013 USA Pro Challenge Kick-Off Press Conference Quotes Page 2 


Peter Sagan (SVK) 

Cannondale Pro Cycling 

On racing on American soil: 

“I’m very happy to return to America. After the Tour of California and the Tour de France, I’ve come here for the altitude preparation. I was here for two weeks before the race and after just two days, I really understood that it’s difficult to race here under these conditions. I hope I prepared well, because I want to do well and help my teammates.”

On dying his beard green for the Tour de France: 

“I did that just for the Tour de France. It was a special edition!”

Tejay van Garderen (USA) 

BMC Racing Team 

On his ties to Aspen: 

“My wife grew up in Aspen. We love it here. We’re making Aspen a bit more permanent.”

On the competition: 

“We’re definitely taking this race seriously. We brought a really strong team and we’d like to win it…that’s the ultimate goal. We’re obviously going to face some stiff competition with all these people sitting around me (referring to the other riders at the press conference) participating this year.”

On the route: 

“I think it’s a great course. Each year it gets just a little bit harder and this year is no different. This year seems like it’s going to be more aggressive than ever. Every day there’s a chance for something to happen.”

On his year so far: 

“I think I’ve had a pretty good year with some solid results starting in January through the Tour de Suisse. The Tour de France was obviously quite a downer, but if I look at the year as a whole, I’d say it’s been pretty successful.”

On what he learned from the Tour de France: 

“You learn more from failures than you do from success. I had a successful Tour in 2012, so I’ve been evaluating what went right and what went wrong in 2013. I’ll try to tweak the preparations for next year so I can come back and try to fight for the top spot. It was definitely a learning experience.”

On how he will apply his learnings to this week: 

“This week I’ll try to keep the morale up. If things don’t go your way, it’s easy to be disappointed. I’ll just try to keep the whole team rallied and have confidence. Sometimes that’s the key ingredient…having fun in what you’re doing.” 2013 USA Pro Challenge Kick-Off Press Conference Quotes Page 3 


Jens Voigt (GER) 

RadioShack Leopard Trek 

On his Stage 4 win during the 2012 USA Pro Challenge: 

“My job in a lot of races is to cover the early breakaways. The Garmin team had very aggressive tactics and there were a few of us out there, so I knew one of us had to be with them. I thought, ‘it’s now or never…this is the moment to go.’ I attacked the group and then I see our director who said, ‘Jens it’s a long way.’ I said, ‘trust me it’s all good,’ and it all worked out in the end. It was a little daring, but I cannot beat everyone on the last sprint, so I have to go the long and hard way.”

On preparing for the altitude at the USA Pro Challenge: 

“Two years ago I really did suffer a lot because of the altitude and jet lag. We learned from that and went to the Tour of Utah last year to prepare and get acclimated, and then I won a stage. It’s important to get here early to get used to the time zone, get over jet lag and adjust to the altitude.”

On being ready for the 2013 USA Pro Challenge: 

“Some people say they don’t know if they are ready for the USA Pro Challenge. We do know. We are ready. We want to have a good start here. I do hope and think we have a good team. We are ready and we want to be here.”

On advice for kids getting into cycling: 

“Do not do too much to start. Try to have fun with your friends and, if possible, have a car follow you for security. If you have the passion then you will have to sacrifice a lot later, but it comes with great rewards. You get to see the world. I’ve done races on almost every continent.”

Tom Danielson (USA) 

Team Garmin-Sharp 

On his win in Aspen during the 2012 USA Pro Challenge: 

“On Team Garmin-Sharp we always win as a team and lose as a team…that one was really a team effort.

The stage into Aspen from Gunnison was one of the top experiences I’ve had in the history of my professional career. I got to go over Independence pass by myself in my hometown, in front of tons of fans and then almost lost it all, but dug as deep as I could to pull out the win. The crowd really helped me through it. It was really a magical moment coming through the finish line. I couldn’t even raise my hands because it was so emotional.”

On his preparedness: 

“I feel good and I always love coming to this race. It’s my home race and I’m pumped for sure.”

On the team: 

“We have a really fantastic team, but as you can see here there’s quite a strong peloton.”

On the key to winning the USA Pro Challenge: 

“I think the key is a strong team. As you saw last year, we were super aggressive. The course really favored an aggressive approach and this year is similar. You have to either control other people being aggressive or be aggressive yourself. It’s a very strong field this year with Sky Procycling and the Tour de France Champion. You have to be careful…you can’t do crazy stuff. We’ll be as strong as we can be, and we’ll try to be as smart as possible as well.” 2013 USA Pro Challenge Kick-Off Press Conference Quotes Page 4 


Rory Sutherland (AUS) 

Team Saxo-Tinkoff 

On his preparation for the USA Pro Challenge: 

“I’ve been racing a lot in America, so it’s kind of a question mark to see what that did and see how it goes. I’m a lot heavier than some of these guys, so I need to choose where to use my energy.”

On the team and their chances for a win: 

“Mick is very intelligent on the bike as well. As long as someone on our team is in position, that’s what we’re looking for.”

On the competition: 

“We’re looking forward to watching how the other guys race and hold up – taking notes along the way for improvement.”

Martijn Vershchoor (NED) 

Team Novo Nordisk 

On the mission of Team Novo Nordisk: 

“All the riders on Team Novo Nordisk are diabetics. There are so many diabetics in the world and many people say you cannot exercise and that you need to be very careful. We know we can win races and get podiums, and we want to show everyone we can do well in the USA Pro Challenge.”

On the team: 

“We have two good guys for the General Classification and we have a lot of young riders joining us this year. I think we can do well in this race.”


Shawn Hunter 

CEO, USA Pro Challenge 

On the race overall: 

“I am more excited about this year of the USA Pro Challenge than any other event I have been involved in. What you have sitting next to me are the best athletes in the world. We couldn’t be more pleased and humbled with the support we get here in Colorado. We have all the right ingredients for success, showcasing the history, love and culture of the sport. The only race where you’re going to see bigger crowds is at the Tour de France – that’s pretty darn exciting.”

Jim Birrell 

Race Director, USA Pro Challenge 

On the 2013 course: 

“We’re gifted each year in Colorado with having a blank canvas to paint the picture of what the USA Pro Challenge will hold. This year’s route is incredibly spectator-friendly, with the opportunity to start and finish in the same city. We open with a really competitive circuit, giving our athletes a chance to test the elevations before tackling more rigorous terrain. Thursday (8/22) will most likely be our queen stage, testing these athletes on some really difficult roads. We’re excited to bring back the individual time trial from our inaugural race in 2011, with a new paved surface in Vail. Then, we’ll cap it all off by finishing with a wonderful stage in Downtown Denver.” 2013 USA Pro Challenge Kick-Off Press Conference Quotes Page 5 

On the Coors Classic: 

“I cut my teeth on the Coors Classic. To make a career out of a passion is emotional. It’s really rewarding to be able to be on the other side of the fence now, watching as many of the team directors, who used to be riders themselves, today guide athletes and mentor their riders into their careers.”

On the history of cycling in Colorado & the USA Pro Challenge: 

“Bike racing was formed here in Colorado and to be given the opportunity to re-establish its roots in this state is one of the most rewarding things that can happen for us.”

On the 2013 rosters: 

“We’re fortunate to have the No. 1 and No. 2 riders in the world joining, in addition to the top-ranked team in the world. We have 16 teams coming together from 31 different countries, including 16 riders who are representing their home state of Colorado.”



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