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2012 USA Pro Challenge: Stage 4 Preview

Boulder's Tom Danielson claimed a stage-three victory on Tuesday's 130-mile leg that stretched from Gunnison to Aspen, Colorado in the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. While Danielson claimed the stage, fellow Garmin-Sharp-Barricuda teammate Christian VandeVelde claimed the overall lead headed into Thursday's Stage Four.

Stage Four of the Challenge is set to begin at 11:35 a.m. MT in Aspen. The cyclists will begin the stage with a steep climb over Independence Pass. The initial climb stretches over 20 miles and will take the riders above the 10,000-feet elevation mark several times. Most of the 97-mile stage takes place above the 9,000-feet elevation plateau.

The stage ends when in the last three miles, the course shoots uphill by 1,000 feet and finishes at Beaver Creek ski resort. That finish is expected to come around 3:50 p.m. MT.

Here is the overall leaderboard after three stages:

1. Christian VandeVelde (Garmin-Sharp-Barricuda)
2. Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team)
3. Ivan Rovny (RusVelo)
4. Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step)
5. Ramiro Rincon Diaz (EPM-UNE)
6. Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp-Barricuda)
7. Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale)
8. Janez Brajkovic (Astana)
9. Chris Horner (RadioShack Nissan Trek)
10. Lucas Euser (Team SpiderTech - C10)

Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more coverage of the Pro Cycling Challenge, or visit SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe.