- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MONARCH MOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) - Defending champion Tejay van Garderen took over the yellow jersey at the USA Pro Challenge on Wednesday with a thrilling win in Stage 3, holding off Rafal Majka at the finish.

Van Garderen, of BMC Racing, finished the 96-mile trek from Gunnison to Monarch Mountain in 3 hours, 50 minutes, 41 seconds. That was just ahead of Majka, who rides for Tinkoff-Saxo.

The 26-year-old Van Garderen leads Majka by 20 seconds heading into Stage 4, which is a 70-mile circuit race that goes around Colorado Springs and features climbs through such tourist attractions as Garden of the Gods.

Alex Howes of Garmin-Sharp was the overall leader entering the day. He finished the stage in 18th and is 1:45 behind van Garderen.

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