Leipheimer takes ITT and overall lead
Radioshack's Levi Leipheimer assumed control of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge after pacing the individual time trial in Vail, Colorado.
The American recorded a time of 25mins47secs around the 10km course to edge out Garmin's Christian Vande Velde.
Colombian Rafael Infantino of Epm-Une came in third, four seconds adrift.
Leipheimer now leads compatriot Vande Velde by 11 seconds on the GC with overnight leader Tejay Van Garderen of HTC-Highroad in third.
Leipheimer said of Vande Velde: “We are good friends, we are neighbours in Spain, we’ve been racing together a long time. Today it was the old guys showing we’ve still got it."
Vande Velde himself was happy with his performance on the third stage of the race in the Rockies.
“I haven’t felt like this since 2008 or maybe the spring of 2009. It wasn’t until I started riding at the level I’m capable of again that I’ve realised how much I’ve suffered the last couple of years.”
The race continues on Friday with stage four, a rolling 133km route from Avon to Steamboat Springs, and although the gruelling mountain climbs are behind the riders, Leipheimer knows a tough time in still in store.
“There are time bonuses, they are always dangerous," he said. "There’s wind. There’s still some climbing. There are crashes - yesterday the crash was right at my right shoulder, I was very lucky.
“I gave up the jersey once and I’m telling you, I don’t really want to give it up again.”