On Wednesday, the 163 km USA Pro Cycling Challenge Stage 3 set off from Copper Mountain Resort and finished in Aspen, where Kiel Reijnen of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling had enough left in the legs to beat out Tour de France Stage 1 winner Rohan Dennis.

usaprocyclingchallenge.com summarized the stage:

Reijnen was able to survive the final monster 18-mile climb up Independence Pass (elev. 12,095), then outsprint a group of 30-plus riders. The group including Reijnen closed a more than minute gap on Luxembourg’s Laurent Didier of Trek Factory Racing on the descent into Aspen before jumping on the last turn to outsprint Australian Rohan Dennis of BMC Racing.

Reijnen narrowly missed out on victory in Stage 1 and he made up for it in a big way on Wednesday. The fact that Reijnen won last year’s stage into Aspen makes this repeat performance even more impressive.

After some near misses already during this the USA Pro Challenge, Reijnen was in high spirits after the stage victory and gave a lot of credit to his teammates.

“Aspen is a special place and it’s awesome to do it again. After the way the team rode for me, it’s always hard to not win. We were definitely happy with the podium today. Taylor and Brent got the better of me the other day, and all is fair in love and war. To repay the guys with a win, is always special. I’m very happy we could do it today. Again the team showed immense faith in me. I’m really glad I could deliver on their behalf.”

Stage 1 winner and Boulder native Taylor Phinney finished Stage 3 in 43rd place and is almost eight minutes behind the leaders in the overall standings.

Stage 2 winner Brent Bookwalter finished Stage 3 in ninth place and remains the man with the Smashburger Race Leader jersey. Leading a race in his own country is something that Bookwalter is cherishing and he acknowledged this after Wednesday’s stage.

“When I’m out training, I don’t think about riding in the wind for guys and lining them up a win for victories. I’m thinking about wining races myself. It doesn’t happen that often, but now that I’m here I’m really enjoying it. It feels great to be doing it. And it makes it all the more special in my own country. I think this is the first race I’ve lead in my own country and it’s nice when people keep smiling at you.”

With four stages remaining, the top-five overall look like this:

1. Brent BOOKWALTER, BMC Racing Team, in 12:13:02
2. Rohan DENNIS, BMC Racing Team, at :06
3. Jonathan CLARKE, Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team, at :10
4. Hugh CARTHY, Caja Rural-Seguros Rga, at :10
5. Robbie SQUIRE, Hincapie Racing Team, at :23

Stage 4 on Thursday will be longest stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. At 203 km, the riders will race from Aspen to Breckenridge in the heaviest mountain stage the race has to offer. Additionally, this stage will provide the best chances for riders to make up ground as they go into to Friday’s individual time trial before the final two stages over the weekend to finish off the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.