Vande Velde surges to overall victory |

Vande Velde surges to overall victory

John Henderson
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
Christian Vande Velde, of team Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda, races toward the finish in the final stage of the USA Pro Challenge cycling race in Denver, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. Vande Velde took second in the time trial to win the overall race. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)
AP | FR170036 AP

DENVER, Colorado – It was in late June when John Vande Velde got the call from his son. Christian Vande Velde was at the Denver airport after spending three weeks torturing himself in the mountains around Boulder.

He was leaving for the Tour de France, a race he thought he could win. But Paris wasn’t the only city on his mind. So was Denver, on Aug. 26. His second goal was the USA Pro Challenge where he got second in the inaugural race last year.

Near the end of their conversation, Christian said, “Dad, I’m not losing this thing.”

Three crashes in the first week of France and a limping roll into Paris later, Vande Velde fulfilled that promise to his father. In a spectacular time trial that surprised everyone but himself, Vande Velde flew past leader Levi Leipheimer on Sunday and won the yellow jersey by 21 seconds.

Denver hosted the race but Boulder did the celebrating. Not only did Vande Velde bring home the win for Boulder-based Team Garmin-Sharp but Boulder-native Taylor Phinney destroyed the field to win the time trial.

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