USA Pro Challenge gets jump on 2014 and announces host cities

Last day of race to be voted on by viewers and cyclists and Tom Danielson got his wish

The USA Pro Challenge has announced the 2014 race. The host start and finish cities are:

Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 18 – Aspen Circuit Race

Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 19 – Aspen to Mt. Crested Butte

Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 20 – Gunnison to Monarch Mountain (mountaintop finish)

Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 21 – Colorado Springs Circuit Race

Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 22 – Woodland Park to Breckenridge

Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 23 – Vail Individual Time Trial

Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 24 – ???

The question mark for the final stage is a pretty neat finish idea. The public will get to vote for the final stage they want. The choices are:

Denver Circuit Race similar to the final stage of the 2013 race

Start in Golden (2012 Stage 6 start city) and finish in Denver

Start in Boulder (2012 Stage 6 finish city) and finish in Denver

Start in Boulder and end in Golden

Go here to vote on the race you want. What’s Your Vote For Stage 7? Voting gets you a 15% discount off USA Pro Challenge items in the store.

The course:

The course is similar to the very successful 2013 race. Cities with two things; money and people who want to watch a bicycle race are involved. So Aspen and Vail are probably always going to be on the race circuit. The turn out and support in Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt Crested Butte is 100%, even though that is only 20% of what Vail turns out. Breckenridge and Colorado Springs are next as far as both and the perennial Denver is becoming the home to great cycling because of work of past volunteers and the USA Pro Challenge.

Merry Christmas Tom DanielsonIMG_3187

The only location with issues will be the finish on Monarch Mountain. This finish is a long way from Gunnison and close to Chaffee County, but still lacking in numbers of people. However it fulfills team Garmin Sharp’s Tom Danielson’s Christmas wish to have a mountain stage win at the Pro Challenge. Now he better win that stage!

But that will be a great finish no matter how many people. If you are a fan of the tour in Europe everyone watches, this will become a classic just like those finishes. It is a long and grueling climb. Probably only Wolf Creek Pass from the west is steeper. Finding a good place to see the race is going to be tough so get their early to stake out your spot.

Overall the race course looks fantastic so far. Until we see the actual routes we’ll not know the elevation or distances, however with the starts and finishes already picked this is destined to be another great week of cycling in Colorado.

It is going to be a great week of bicycle racing in Colorado.

See Host Cities Announced for 2014 USA Pro Challenge

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