Phil Liggett's USA Pro Cycling Challenge prologue predictions



Phil Liggett

Following Sunday's press conference at USA Cycling headquarters, which introduced the USA Pro Cycling Challenge to the media, I got a few minutes with Versus announcer Phil Liggett.

The British cycling commentator was there with his colleague Paul Sherwen. The two, along with Bob Roll, are known for their coverage of the Tour de France. And perhaps, most fun, their Tour predictions of who will take the yellow jersey each day.

I asked Liggett about his predictions for today's Prologue time trial, which runs from Garden of the Gods to downtown Colorado Springs, with a nasty left-hand turn from Ridge Road onto Pikes Peak Avenue — and who he thought would take the win at the end of the day.

"If emotion is to succeed, Danny Pate," he said, going on to talk about Pate's native Springs' status and his top time-trial history. He added, however, "It is a very, very difficult prologue."

"In a time trial, you don't know what the other man is doing," Liggett said, stressing that each man has to just go as fast as possible and do his absolute best.

"Hell," he said, with a pause. "It's a difficult choice, but I'm going to have to stick my neck out there and go with Levi." That would be Levi Leipheimer, the American cyclist on Team Radio Shack who won the 2011 Tour de Suisse and, just last week, the Tour of Utah.

Of course, Liggett also joked that he doesn't have a very good history in picking winners.

Catch all the cycling excitement starting at 1:15 p.m. this afternoon, either in person or on Versus.

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