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Colorado Springs Hosts USA Pro Challenge Circuit

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Tejay van Garderen of the United States riding for the BMC Racing Team races Rafal Majka of Poland riding for Tinkoff-Saxo during 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 races Rafal Majka of Poland riding for Tinkoff-Saxo during 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)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — USA Pro Challenge riders are getting a break from major climbing with a circuit race around Colorado Springs.

The cyclists are doing four laps around a 16-mile course, which includes the Garden of the Gods, in Thursday’s stage. They still face a nearly 17 percent grade as they climb Ridge Road.

Defending champion Tejay van Garderen is wearing the yellow jersey and leads Rafal Majka by 20 seconds after a thrilling win on Monarch Mountain Wednesday.

Alex Howes of Boulder had been the overall leader. He finished the stage in 18th and is 1:45 behind van Garderen, who lives in Aspen.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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