Tejay van Garderen competes in the individual time trial during the sixth stage of the USA Pro Challenge on August 23, 2014 in Vail, Colorado
Washington (AFP) - American Tejay Van Garderen won the individual time trial at the USA Pro Challenge cycling race, stretching his overall lead to 92 seconds ahead of Sunday's final stage.
Saturday's triumph puts 26-year-old defending champion Van Garderen in position to capture the crown again over the last 78 miles (125 kilometers) from Boulder to Denver.
"This is incredible," Van Garderen said. "My team is riding amazing. Everyone is having a great time."
BMC Racing's Van Garderen, the last man on the 10-mile layout thanks to his 20-second lead through the first five stages, won the time trial for the second year in a row in 24 minutes 26.5 seconds, defeating compatriot Tom Danielson by 53 seconds.
"I was perfectly smooth the whole way," Van Garderen said. "It's kind of hard with the huge crowd. You just really has to focus on your breathing, cadence, power. You have to stay in the zone you know you can manage."
Romania's Serghei Tvetcov was third, 1:08 adrift, but finished 21 seconds ahead of Poland's Rafal Majka, enough to overtake him for third place in the overall standings. Australian Michael Rogers was fifth, 1:40 off the pace.
In the overall standings, Van Garderen stood on 17:20:22 with Danielson 1:32 adrift, Tvetcov 1:45 back and Majka another four seconds behind. American Matthew Busche was a distant fifth, 3:11 back.