Team RadioShack’s Matthew Busche, one of the revelations of the season is the new US Pro Champion and the successor of teammate Ben King. Second year pro Busche out sprinted hometown favorite George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team) in Greenville, South Carolina. A photo finish was needed to determine the winner. Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale) finished third with Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) fourth. Those four emerged as the strongest riders in the race that included four ascents of Paris Mountain.
“I don’t know how I did this. I’m still trying to figure it out,” said Matthew Busche (26) from the podium. “It still doesn’t seem real to me. I still can’t believe it. I don’t know when it will set in. Maybe sometime soon I will realize what this means.”
Despite racing with only two teammates, Busche managed to take the victory. “We had Jason McCartney in the long breakaway all day. Ben King and I were able to sit in the field and just conserve energy. As usual on the last time up that mountain the attacks went and Tejay Van Garderen went really hard there. George Hincapie and I were the only ones who could follow. We bridged up to the breakaway. Jason was still there. At that point he gave every last bit of energy that he had. And then, with about 300 meters to go, at the last corner, I attacked. George followed and came around me. I was able to get out of his wheel for the last drag to the line and was able to come back around. It was really a sprint right down to the finish and I had the better bike throw today. In theory you don’t want to go to the sprint with George but there wasn’t much else I could do, everybody was really strong. Trying to jump from far out was probably not a good idea. I don’t know what the best tactics were but today I won and I’m super happy.”
RadioShack's Matthew Busche surprised the cycling world in last week’s Amgen Tour of California where he rode in selfless support of his teammates Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer. Busche only started to focus on cycling in 2008 after a successful college career in running. After a first year with continental team Kelly Benefit Strategies, he was offered a contract with RadioShack in just his second year of racing.
“This is just a dream,” concluded Busche. “I’m so excited and really glad that my family and friends came here to see this and I thank them a lot for everything they’ve done for me and I have to thank Ben King and Jason McCartney who helped a ton today. And Johan Bruyneel. He offered me that unbelievable chance to become pro. I hope this is not the end.”
US Pro Road Championships
1 Matthew Busche (Team RadioShack)
2 George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team) @ s.t.
3 Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale) @ 0:02
4 Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) @ 0:07
5 Kyle Wamsley (Bissell) @ 1:29
6 Alexander Candelario @ 1:30
7 Kenneth Hanson @ s.t.
8 Ben King (Team RadioShack)
9 Brent Bookwalter
10 Chase Pinkham @ 1:31