By Nigel Wynn
Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) topped the general classification of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge after the final stage of the race on Sunday in Colorado.
The American made amends for a disappointing Tour de France in July by taking the overall race win with ease after placing second in the race's queen mountain stage on Thursday and then winning the decisive individial time trial on Friday.
Van Garderen ended the race one and a half minutes ahead of BMC team-mate Mathias Frank in second overall, and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) in third at 1-42.
"I've been so close here multiple times. So to finally get the win is really amazing," said van Garderen. "This is a race that sometimes is hard to be motivated for after July. With this race on the calendar, it wasn't a question of whether or not I was going to stay focused and stay motivated. This is my hometown race and I wanted it badly."
Slovakian Sagan continued his winning run by taking the final day's bunch sprint in Denver, his fourth stage win of the race. Ryan Anderson (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) placed second, with Alessandro Bazzana (UnitedHealthcare) in third.
British Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky) withdrew from the final stage on the second lap around Denver. He was using the race as a warm-up for the road race world championship in September.
British climber Josh Edmondson (Sky) was another non-finisher after taking a fall during the stage. He made his mark during the past week, however, taking an active role in several days' escape groups and placing a creditable seventh on Thursday's key mountain stage to Beaver Creek.
"We pulled Froomey because he was feeling a bit under the weather," Team Sky director sportif Dan Hunt explained after the race. "He wanted to finish the race but we told him ‘rather than pushing it, see how you feel once you get going, and if you're still not right then there's nothing to gain by continuing'. We didn't want the racing to exasperate the problem with him heading into his next block of training."
"As for Josh, by the time he fell the racing was full on so there was no way he was going to get back into the bunch. It was as simple as that. He has a few scrapes but there's certainly nothing serious."
USA Pro Challenge 2013, stage seven: Denver to Denver, 116.5km
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale in 2-27-15
2. Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies
3. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare
4. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing
6. Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia
7. Tanner Putt (USA) Bontrager
8. Andrea Peron (Ita) Novo Nordisk
9. Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare
10. Michael Schar (Sui) BMC Racing at same time
Final overall classification
1. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing in 22-38-48
2. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing at 1-30
3. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 1-42
4. Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman at 2-10
5. Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 2-34
6. Gregory Brenes Obando (CRc) Champion System at 3-25
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) Bontrager at 3-42
8. George Bennett (NZl) RadioShack-Leopard at 3-58
9. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Saxo-Tinkoff at 4-11
10. Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare at 4-12
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