Aspen's Tejay van Garderen will return to defend his title for BMC Racing in the fourth USA Pro Challenge, which will begin in his hometown on Aug. 18.

Van Garderen, who finished fifth this year in the Tour de France and was the top American, has been on the podium in all three previous Pro Challenge tours of Colorado. He finished third in 2011 and was the top young racer. He finished second to Christian Vande Velde in 2012.

"I'm really looking forward to defending my race title in Colorado this year," van Garderen said. "Because it starts in my hometown, it's different and more relaxed. To race in front of my family and friends is always special. We are bringing a really motivated team and with a summit finish this year, it promises to be another hard race."

Boulder's Tom Danielson will be featured in the Garmin-Sharp team. Danielson finished third last year.

"I'm super excited to be coming back to race the USA Pro Challenge with my Garmin-Sharp teammates," Danielson said. "Personally, it's the one event every year I really look forward to because of the huge and crazy crowds and the general vibe of the race. It's like no other race. Plus, our team is headquartered in Denver, so we have extra motivation."

Garmin-Sharp chief Jonathan Vaughters said Andrew Talansky will skip Colorado to compete in the Tour of Spain, Aug. 23-Sept. 14. Talansky would have competed in Colorado if he wasn't forced to drop out of the Tour de France after Stage 11, Vaughters said, but he needed to compete in another grand tour because his Tour de France was abbreviated.


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"We'll still be coming with a team capable of winning the race," Vaughters said.

Germany's Jens Voigt (Trek) has announced that the Pro Challenge will be his final race.

"I chose the Pro Challenge as my final race because of the fans," said Voigt. "All the fans in Colorado love outdoor activities, so they are all experts. ... They know exactly how hard it is to go up those crazy-long climbs. It's a beautiful state and I just always love the warm welcome and the support I get from the fans."

Poland's Rafal Majka, king of the mountains in the Tour de France, will be here along with Tinkoff-Saxo teammate Michael Rogers of Australia, who won the first big climb in the Pyrennes at the Tour de France.

Two other top finishers from the Tour de France will be here. Leopold Koenig (Team NetApp) of the Czech Republic finished seventh and Luxemburg's Frank Schleck (Trek) finished 12th.

The Pro Challenge will conclude Aug. 24 with a stage from Boulder to downtown Denver via Lookout Mountain above Golden.

John Meyer: 303-954-1616, jmeyer@denverpost.com or twitter.com/johnmeyer


Team rosters

UCI ProTeams

BMC Racing Team (USA)
Ben Hermans (BEL)
Brent Bookwalter (USA)
Martin Kohler (SUI)
Michael Schar (SUI)
Peter Stetina (USA)
Rick Zabel (GER)
Tejay Van Garderen (USA)
Yannick Eijssen (BEL)

Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA)
Alan Marangoni (ITA)
Cristiano Salerno (ITA)
Davide Formolo (ITA)
Edward King (USA)
Elia Viviani (ITA)
Ivan Basso (ITA)
Matej Mohori (SLO)
Michel Koch (GER)

Team Garmin-Sharp (USA)
Alex Howes (USA)
Ben King (USA)
Gavin Mannion (stagiare) (USA)
Janier Acevedo (COL)
Lachlan Morton (AUS)
Phil Gaimon (USA)
Thomas Dekker (NED)
Tom Danielson (USA)

Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS)
Bruno Pires (POR)
Edward Beltran (COL)
Jesper Hansen (DEN)
Michael Mørkøv (RUS)
Michael Rogers (AUS)
Pawel Poljanski (POL)
Rafa Majka (POL)
Rasmus Guldhammer (NOR) (stagiare)

Trek Factory Racing (USA)
Calvin Watson (AUS)
Fränk Schleck (LUX)
Hayden Roulston (NZL)
Jens Voigt (GER)
Markel Irizar (ESP)
Matthew Busche (USA)
Riccardo Zoidl (AUT)
Robert Kiserlovski (CRO)

UCI Professional Continental Teams

Drapac Professional Cycling (AUS)
Adam Phelan (AUS)
Bernard Sulzberger (AUS)
Darren Lapthorne (AUS)
Jai Crawford (AUS)
Jonathan Cantwell (AUS)
Lachlan Norris (AUS)
Robbie Hucker (AUS)
Wesley Sulzberger (AUS)

Team NetApp - Endura (GER)
Bartosz Huzarski (POL)
David De La Cruz (ESP)
Gregor Muhlberger (AUT)
Jose Mendes (POR)
Leopold König (CZE)
Michael Schwarzmann (GER)
Patrick Konrad (AUT)
Tiago Machado (POR)

Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
Andrea Peron (ITA)
Charles Planet (FRA)
David Lozano (ESP)
Javier Megias (ESP)
Joonas Henttala (FIN)
Kevin De Mesmaeker (BEL)
Martijn Verschoor (NED)
Scott Ambrose (NZL)

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Ben Day (AUS)
Danny Summerhill (USA)
Isaac Bolivar Hernandez (COL)
Jeff Louder (USA)
Jonny Clarke (AUS)
Kiel Reijnen (USA)
Lucas Euser (USA)
Marc De Maar (CAR)

UCI Continental Teams

Bissell Development Team (USA)
Chris Putt (USA)
Daniel Eaton (USA)
Gregory Daniel (USA)
James Oram (NZL)
Keegan Swirbul (USA)
Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL)
Nicholai Brøchner (DEN)
Tanner Putt (USA)

Hincapie Sportswear Development Team (USA)
Chris Butler (USA)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Joe Lewis (AUS)
Joey Rosskopf (USA)
Oscar Clark (USA)
Robin Carpenter (USA)
Toms Skuji (LAT)
Ty Magner (USA)

Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home (USA)
Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA)
Carson Miller (USA)
Daniel Jaramillo (COL)
Gregory Brenes (CRC)
Ian Crane (USA)
Luis Amaran (CUB)
Matt Cooke (USA)
Rob Squire (USA)

Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA)
Freddie Rodriguez (USA)
Ian Burnett (USA)
Jacob Rathe (USA)
Kirk Carlsen (USA)
Luis Davila (MEX)
Matthew Lloyd (AUS)
Serghei Tvetcov (ROM)
Steve Fisher (USA)

Optum Presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Alex Candelario (USA)
Bjorn Selander (USA)
Carter Jones (USA)
Jesse Anthony (USA)
Ryan Anderson (CAN)
Scott Zwizanski (USA)
Thomas Zirbel (USA)
William Routley (CAN)

Rapha Condor JLT (GBR)
Daniel Whitehouse (GBR)
Elliott Porter (GBR)
Graham Briggs (GBR)
Hugh Carthy (GBR)
Kristian House (GBR)
Michael Cuming (GBR)
Richard Handley (GBR)
Tom Moses (GBR)

Team SmartStop (USA)
Eric Marcotte (USA)
Flavio De Luna (MEX)
Julian Kyer (USA)
Jure Kocjan (SLO)
Michael Torckler (NZL)
Rob Britton (CAN)
Travis McCabe (USA)
Zach Bell (CAN)