The USA Pro Cycling Challenge concluded the highly anticipated 'Queen Stage' of the 7-day race yesterday. The stage on day two of the race was the first in history to summit two 12,000 foot passes in one day on its route from Gunnison to Aspen.
The stage was not without difficulty -- in addition to the strenuous high-altitude route, a cattle guard on the Cottonwood Pass ascent led to a serious eight-rider crash that sent three riders to the hospital Wednesday.
Italian rider Daniele Callegarin, of Team Type 1, suffered a concussion, two broken hands, and severe facial injuries; he was airlifted to a hospital in Denver. Canadian Andrew Randell and American Sergio Hernandez were transported to Gunnison Valley Hospital. According to the Associated Press, Callegarin is alert but will require extensive plastic surgery.
American rider George Hincapie won the 131-mile long stage in five hours, 26 minutes, 10 seconds. As of Thursday morning, American Tejay Van Garderen is the overall race leader.
Stage three of the race continues Thursday afternoon with a ten-mile individual time trial near I-70 east of Vail.WATCH [via USA Pro Cycling Challenge]: A recap of yesterday's Queen Stage. Video of the crash begins at 0:55:
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported today's time trial was on I-70