HTC-Highroad’s Tejay Van Garderen took the overall lead, finishing some 46 seconds ahead of overnight leader Levi Leipheimer and earning a 6-second time bonus for finishing second on the stage.
It was Hincapie’s first win since the U.S. professional road race championships in 2009. “It has been awhile,” Hincapie said.
Hincapie also moved into second overall, 16 seconds behind Van Garderen. Garmin-Cervélo’s Tom Danielson, third on the stage, is now third on GC as well.
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The 130-mile stage included climbs over Independence and Cottonwood passes, each topping out at over 12,000 feet. But with almost 20 miles from the top of Independence to the finish in Aspen, the descent turned out to be more influential than the climbs.
Thursday’s stage is the critical Vail time trial, which climbs 1,800 feet in just under 10 miles, starting at over 8,000 feet in elevation. Van Garderen, who won a flat time trial stage at the Tour of Utah recently, carries a 34-second GC lead over Leipheimer. Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, Cadel Evans and Janier Acevedo — all excellent time trialists and climbers — are all within a minute of Van Garderen on the GC. Quick results
1. George HINCAPIE, BMC Racing Team, in 5:26:10
2. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, HTC-Highroad, at s.t.
3. Tom DANIELSON, Team Garmin-Cervelo, at s.t.
4. Eduard BELTRAN SUAREZ, Une-Epm, at s.t.
5. Janier ACEVEDO CALLE, Gobernacion De Antioquia-Indeportes Antiquia, at s.t.
1. Tejay VAN GARDEREN, HTC-Highroad, in 10:04:08
2. George HINCAPIE, BMC Racing Team, at 00:16
3. Tom DANIELSON, Team Garmin-Cervelo, at 00:22
4. Levi LEIPHEIMER, Team RadioShack, at 00:34
5. Christian VANDEVELDE, Team Garmin-Cervelo, at 00:45