The USA Cycling National Development Team completed a successful Fleche du Sud on Sunday, collecting several victories throughout the five-stage race.
Tejay Van Garderen was responsible for most of the individual honors as the 19-year-old won the opening stage, placed second overall, won the Best Young Rider and Points classifications and finished second in stage two.
In Thursday’s 163-kilometer stage from Schifflange to Rumelamge, Van Garderen escaped from the 133-rider peloton and finished two seconds up on Velentin Iglinskiy to record one of the biggest wins of his career. The result moved him into fourth place overall entering stage two. On Friday, Van Garderen followed up his stage win with a second-place effort in the 142-kilometer stage two from Ettelbruck to Wiltz – a performance that moved him into second place in the general classification. Click here to see a video of his performance.
In Sunday’s fourth and final stage – a 165-kilometer race from Karyl to Alzette, Van Garderen finished fifth to maintain his second-place finish overall. He finished just nine seconds off the pace of overall winner Marcel Wyss of Switzerland.
Van Garderen’s aggressive racing and high stage finishes resulted in his winning the Best Young Rider classification by 22 seconds over National Development Team teammate Peter Stetina. Van Garderen also tallied enough points to win the Points classification with 66 points over Denys Kostyuk of the Ukraine (62).
Stetina gave the USA Cycling National Development Team two riders in the top ten overall with a sixth-place finish, 31 seconds off the pace of Wyss.
Solid efforts from other National Development Team members also propelled the squad into first place in the final Team classification. Guy East placed fifth in the opening Prologue in Petange on Wednesday, while Cole House recorded a fifth-place finish of his own in the 168-kilometer stage three from Preiserdaul to Roeser.
The overall performance gave the USA Cycling National Development Team the overall victory with a cumulative time of 47:11.59 by its top-three riders – Van Garderen, Stetina and East (29th, +2:01). The squad finished first by 55 seconds over the Differdange – Apiflo Vacances amateur squad.
© BikeRadar & USA Cycling 2008