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Chris Horner isn’t coming to the USA Pro Challenge, but other RadioShack-Leopard heavy hitters are, like Jens Voigt and Andy Schleck.
A team official confirmed that Voigt, Schleck, Andreas Klöden, and Tiago Machado will ride the third-annual race through Colorado, but the rest of the roster had yet to be determined.
Voigt, always a fan favorite (especially in North America), won a stage last year into Beaver Creek with an audacious breakaway. He is racing at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah this week. This year, he won a stage at the Amgen Tour of California into Avila Beach on a late break, and in Colorado last year he won the mountains classification.
He also earned the combative award for his fight on the final stage in the Alps of the Tour, which took the peloton from Annecy to Annecy Semnoz. He was caught on the final climb, but ended what will most likely be his final Tour in true Voigt fashion.
And while Voigt is something of a known quantity at this point — attack, crack jokes, steal a stage — it’s another ‘Shack rider who will show up in Colorado with a few question marks: Andy Schleck.
Schleck has proven something of an enigma after breaking his pelvis at the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné. He missed last year’s Tour de France, and his showings in races since his return have been spotty. At the Tour, however, he finished in 20th place. While it wasn’t the performance many are used to from a rider who was at one time one of the world’s best climbers, it was a huge improvement and it indicated that Schleck was, if anything, feeling better on the bike than his other post-injury results indicated.
Germany’s Klöden finished ninth overall at Paris-Nice this season, and was 30th at the Tour de France.
The USA Pro Challenge begins in Aspen on August 19, and ends the following Sunday in Denver.