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Tinkoff’s Rogers, Majka headed to USA Pro Challenge

Tinkoff-Saxo riders Michael Rogers and Rafal Majka will attend the USA Pro Challenge later this month, race officials have confirmed.

Between them, Rogers and Majka won three mountain stages at the Tour de France last month, with Majka winning two; Majka also secured the race’s King of the Mountains jersey.

At the Giro d’Italia, in May, Rogers won two stages, including the queen stage on Monte Zoncolan, while Majka finished sixth overall and placed third in the best young rider’s competition.

Rogers has performed well on North American soil in the past. He won the Amgen Tour of California in 2010, becoming the first non-American to win that race; he was also second overall at the 2008 Tour of Missouri.

Officials have not released start lists for the Pro Challenge, however, after this week’s Vuelta a España roster announcement, a few facts are known.

Racing in Utah, Cannondale’s Ivan Basso has stated that he’ll be racing Colorado. Basso’s teammate Peter Sagan, who won four stages at last year’s Pro Challenge, will not return; he is instead headed to the Vuelta a España.

Last year’s champion Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) is expected to defend his title on home soil; van Garderen resides in Aspen, Colorado, where the race starts, and once lived in Boulder, where the final stage begins.

BMC’s Cadel Evans, currently in Utah, is headed to the Vuelta a España, as is defending champion Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida), who is also in Utah.

Garmin-Sharp riders Tom Danielson and Janier Acevedo, both competing at the Tour of Utah, are expected to participate at the USA Pro Challenge. Garmin’s Andrew Talansky will not attend, opting to focus on the Vuelta instead.

Trek Factory Racing has confirmed that German Jens Voigt will race in Colorado, in his final race with the team before retiring.

The Dutch Belkin squad, which is racing in Utah, will not start the Pro Challenge.

Team Sky, which attended the Colorado race last year with Chris Froome and Richie Porte, is not attending this year.

The seven-day, 550-mile USA Pro Challenge features three uphill finishes, as well as a decisive 10-mile uphill time trial in Vail on stage 6. The race begins in Aspen on Monday, August 18, and finishes in downtown Denver on Sunday, August 24.

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