Tejay--WinsTejay van Garderen broke the Vail TT record on his way to repeat overall victory at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado.

BMC's Tejay van Garderen secured his second straight USA Pro Challenge title on Sunday, while Garmin-Sharp strongman Alex Howes took the final stage victory in downtown Denver, Colorado.

Howes out-kicked fellow U.S. pro Kiel Reijnen, winning the 78-mile stage from Boulder to the Colorado state capitol by the width of a wheel.

Van Garderen finished the week of racing across the Centennial State with a total time of 20:05:42. Garmin's Tom Danielson was a distant second, 1:32 back, with Romanian Serghei Tvetcov (Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) third. (See full results here.)

"It was incredible. It felt awesome," van Garderen said. "To actually be able to defend the title, I felt a lot of pressure, the boys showed a lot of poise. It feels incredible. I might have made it look like it was convincing but there were some times of panic out there. It was a hard-fought victory."

The American carved out the majority of his winning margin during stage 6's Vail time trial on Saturday. Racing his BMC timemachine TM01 through rainy, cool conditions, van Garderen clocked a time of 24:26 on the 16.1-kilometer course. That bettered - by more than half-a-minute - the 25:01 he rode to in winning the same stage a year ago.

The defending champion was 53 seconds better than runner-up Danielson and 68 seconds faster than third-placed Tvetcov. "I was helped by a pretty stiff tailwind, but mainly it was just experience that was the difference," van Garderen said. "I have raced this course three times now and both other times I blew up near the end. In 2011, it was really bad and last year was better, but not perfect. This time, I think I was perfect."

Van Garderen also won the Stage 3 summit finish at Monarch Mountain Wednesday, giving him a race record-tying four career stage wins. He is also the USA Pro Challenge's first repeat winner.

Sunday also marked the end for Jens Voigt. The ageless German who rides for the Trek factory Racing team is calling it a career. Voigt made an early run at final day glory, latching onto the stage's early break. But the hungry bunch reeled the escapees back in. (See Voigt's custom "retirement" bike here.)

The final stage of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, which played out in front of a beautiful Colorado backdrop, took the riders from the cycling Mecca of Boulder, over Lookout Mountain and through Golden on the way to the finish in Downtown Denver.

Leaving Boulder on CO 93, the riders had several hilly and windswept miles before reaching Golden for the first of two passes. Through Golden, the riders tackled the four-mile climb of Lookout Mountain. Another quick pass of Golden and the race screamed through the suburbs en route to Downtown Denver. The riders then faced an abbreviated version of last year's circuit for four fast laps through downtown, 17th Ave. and City Park. Over the years, the race has witnessed some incredible sprinting on Broadway in the heart of Denver and 2014 was no exception.

"We went past my house literally four times today on the opening circuits. I saw my entire family out there today," said Howes, who's from Boulder. "The plan was to go over Lookout and drive it to the finish and I didn't know if it was going to work. We got to talking on the team bus this morning and we all agreed we'd try. With my team riding up there today in my home state with all their hearts, I just couldn't lose."

"This week was just incredible," added van Garderen. "Here, this is just our home and it feels more like a training camp; it's just fun. It feels like we're racing with all our friends. It was fun to share that with my European teammates. This must be what it feels like for them when they race in their homeland."

In the final awarding of the jerseys, van Garderen kept the Smashburger Leader Jersey and Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey.

"I really worked hard for this so it is really satisfying, especially to win such a great race in the state where I live," van Garderen said. "It is made even better by the fact that we also won the team title. To be able to celebrate up there on the podium with all of my teammates was a proud moment."

Meanwhile, Reijnen took home the Lexus Sprint Jersey. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) of Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home kept his lead in the KOM competition and held onto the Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey. And Clément Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team retained the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey. Voigt was awarded the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey for his impressive riding throughout the week.