On a stage sponsored by the Team’s title sponsor, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team's Brad White (USA) earned “Most Aggressive Rider” honors earlier today following his massive effort in Stage One of the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the peloton’s first test in the high altitude of the Colorado Rockies. White, along with South Africa’s Jay Thompson of Team Bissell, spent 134km of the nearly 160km charge from Salida to Crested Butte at the front of the race, at times increasing the gap between the two riders and the field to nearly five minutes. And in a scene reminiscent from last week’s Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, the two were able to separate from the initial break of four riders that went off the front early and manage to retain the lead for the majority of the day. Climbing to 11,312 feet, the two outpaced the peloton through Monarch Pass by 03:50 and held that gap on the field before eventually being reeled in late in the stage. As a result of his efforts, White will don the Most Aggressive Rider jersey at the start of Stage Two tomorrow in Gunnison.
White’s Teammate Rory Sutherland (AUS) finished 11th on the stage, which was won by Levi Leipheimer (USA) of Team RadioShack. Sutherland’s 11th place finish enabled him to move into 7th place overall, +0:35 behind the race leader, Leipheimer.
White also won the Intermediate Sprint in Gunnison while Teammate and fourth place finisher in the Prologue, Robert Förster, took second place in the Intermediate Sprint in Gunnison and third in the Intermediate Sprint in Crested Butte.
“Brad was tremendous today,” said General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo. “To stay 134km off the front, win the intermediate sprint in Gunnison, and produce the type of overall effort he did today was impressive, especially given the motivated field here in Colorado and the challenges the altitude presents.”
The versatile White said, “It was a very hard day and I’m glad I was able to capture the Most Aggressive Rider’s jersey. Jay (Thompson) did a great job out there as we battled the wind constantly. I thought we were an ideal pair for the conditions and believe we worked well together.”
“CAPTAIN AMERICA” AND HIS HEROIC EFFORTS AT HOME AND IN THE PELOTON
White’s superhero-like effort today follows a string of amazing feats the man his Teammates have nicknamed “Captain America” has achieved. This past Friday, August 19th (the eve of USPRO Crit in Grand Rapids, Michigan), White’s wife gave birth to their second child. White, who lives in Grand Rapids, conducted a series of media interviews hours before leaving for the hospital, then following the birth of his new baby girl, raced hard on Saturday, where he endured a crash which required several stitches in his arm en route to helping land Teammate Jake Keough on the podium for the 17th time this season. Immediately following the race, White hopped on a plane for Colorado with his Teammates to join the balance of the squad racing at this week’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge, where he is continues to make a name for himself amongst the world’s best cyclists.