The noise and attention at the US Pro Challenge in Colorado centers on the big stars. There’s Cadel Evans who may or may not aim for the win, the Brothers Schleck who might want to rock in the Rockies and guys like Colorado resident Tom Danielson, brimming with confidence after a top ten in the Tour de France.
To that list of contenders you add Levi Leipheimer of Radio Shack, fresh off his win at the Tour of Utah despite constant attacks from Colombians on race bikes. Nor should anybody count out Danielson’s Garmin Cervelo teammate Christian Vande Velde, either.
Feel like rolling some big dice? How about Ivan Basso of Liquigas and Robert Gesink of Rabobank. You just never know, do ya?
One name that hasn’t been mentioned much is UnitedHealthcare’s Rory Sutherland. He was seventh in the Tour of California, lives in Boulder Colorado, is highly motivated and very comfortable with high altitude racing.
We asked UHC team physiologist Inigo San Millan about Rory’s chances. According to San Millan, Sutherland is in even better form than he had going into California. All the recent training and power files suggest he’s ready for an excellent performance.
Teammates call Rory the Sheriff and Colorado is the Wild, Wild West. Let’s see if the gun has bullets.