Classic winner moved for love, now he loves what Colorado did for career | AspenTimes.com

Classic winner moved for love, now he loves what Colorado did for career

John Meyer/The Denver Post

Gavin Mannion, middle, with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team, celebrates winning the 2018 men's Colorado Classic bike race on the podium with second place finisher and teammate Serghei Tvetcov, left, and third place finisher Hugh Carthy, with EF Education 1ST-DRAPAC p/b Cannondale, on August 19, 2018, in Denver, Colorado.

DENVER — For more than 40 years, endurance athletes have moved to Colorado for the benefits of training at altitude, and the rarefied air of the Front Range unquestionably helped Gavin Mannion achieve a career breakthrough in capturing the Colorado Classic on Sunday. That's not why the Massachusetts native moved to Fort Collins last year, though.

He had an even better reason.

"I moved to Colorado probably why most guys do anything, for a girl," Mannion said Sunday, basking in the greatest achievement of his career. "It had nothing to do with training. But it's clearly paid off in terms of cycling as well."

Mannion, who turns 27 on Friday, took the general classification lead on Friday's Stage 2 with an outstanding time trial on Vail Pass that compared well with past times posted by some of the greats in American cycling. He maintained it through Saturday's 100-miler that took in the mountains of Jefferson County and Sunday's circuit race in Denver to finish four days of racing with a 15-second victory margin over UnitedHealthcare teammate Serghei Tvetchov.

Mannion met his girlfriend while he was in Colorado for some altitude training in advance of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge.

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