Elia Viviani of Italy claimed his second straight sprint stage, while American Levi Leipheimer retained his overall lead on Saturday after the fifth stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Viviani, 22, a second-year pro who rides for the Italian Liquigas team, bolted ahead of Italian teammate Daniel Oss and won the 170.3km road race from Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge in 4 hours, 4 minutes, 31 seconds.
Colombian Jaime Castaneda of EPM-UNE was second, with Oss third, both in the same time as the winner about a bike-length behind.
Leipheimer of RadioShack finished near the front of main field and retained an 11-second margin over Christian Vande Velde of HTC-Highroad.
Vande Velde of Garmin-Cervelo finished 10th in the stage also among the large main field the finished together. American Tejay Van Garderen of HTC-Highroad also finished in the main field and is third overall, trailing by 17 seconds.
Leipheimer, 37, will now only need to ride in the protection of his teammates in the finale, the 114.1km Golden to Denver road race.
Australian Cadel Evans of BMC, the reigning Tour de France titlist, finished 31st in the stage and remained seventh overall, trailing by 1 minute, 18 seconds.
Former two-time Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso of Liquigas, three-time Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, Dutch rider Laurens Ten Dam of Rabobank and American Tom Peterson went on the break early in the stage and built nearly a five-minute advantage.
However, the main field was content let the leaders remain at the front until steadily absorbing the quartet and finally entering the final kilometer of the race as one group.