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Van Garderen Takes Over Lead With Win In Stage 3

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Tejay van Garderen of the United States riding for the BMC Racing Team poses for a photo on stage in the yellow leader's jersey after winning stage three of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain on August 20, 2014 in Monarch, Colorado.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tejay van Garderen of the United States riding for the BMC Racing Team poses for a photo on stage in the yellow leader’s jersey after winning stage three of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain on August 20, 2014 in Monarch, Colorado. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

MONARCH MOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) – Defending champion Tejay van Garderen took over the yellow jersey at the USA Pro Challenge on Wednesday with a thrilling win in Stage 3, holding off Rafal Majka at the finish.

Van Garderen, of BMC Racing, finished the 96-mile trek from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain in 3 hours, 50 minutes, 41 seconds. That was just ahead of Majka, who rides for Tinkoff-Saxo.

Tejay van Garderen of the United States riding for the BMC Racing Team poses for a photo after winning stage three of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain on August 20, 2014 in Monarch, Colorado.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tejay van Garderen of the United States riding for the BMC Racing Team poses for a photo after winning stage three of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain on August 20, 2014 in Monarch, Colorado. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The 26-year-old Van Garderen leads Majka by 20 seconds heading into Stage 4, which is a 70-mile circuit race that goes around Colorado Springs and features climbs through such tourist attractions as Garden of the Gods.

Tejay van Garderen of the United States riding for the BMC Racing Team poses for a photo after winning stage three of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain on August 20, 2014 in Monarch, Colorado.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Tejay van Garderen of the United States riding for the BMC Racing Team poses for a photo after winning stage three of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain on August 20, 2014 in Monarch, Colorado. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Alex Howes of Garmin-Sharp was the overall leader entering the day. He finished the stage in 18th and is 1:45 behind van Garderen.

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(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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