USA ProChallenge Host Cities for 2015 Announced. Different cities, Going to be a slightly Different Race. Cool!

Host Cities Announced for 2015 USA Pro Challenge

Fans Can Help Shape the Route for America’s Most Difficult Professional Cycling Race

Colorado’s largest sporting event is back for 2015, and today race officials unveiled seven of the host cities that will be highlighted as starts and finishes for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge. Taking place Aug. 17-23, the race will feature several dramatic changes for 2015, including a new overall start in beautiful Steamboat Springs, new host communities Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain and a challenging individual time trial course in in the scenic town of Breckenridge. And with six of the seven stages set, organizers are looking to fans to help determine the location of Stage 6.

“The start and finish cities for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge are going to create some unique challenges for the riders while also showcasing some of Colorado’s most beautiful regions to our worldwide audience,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the USA Pro Challenge. “We are always humbled by the amount of interest we receive from cities across the state that want to host the race and we feel confident that the partners we’ve selected this year will help us continue to raise the bar for professional cycling in America.”

After drawing more than 1 million fans each year and generating $130 million in economic impact to the State of Colorado in 2014 alone, the USA Pro Challenge will make its return with an overall start in Steamboat Springs. Over the course of seven days of intensely competitive racing, the world’s best riders will return to iconic Colorado cities that have been key parts of the race in previous years, such as Aspen and Denver.

In a mix of new and prior host cities, the stages of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge include:

  • Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 17 – Steamboat Springs Circuit Race
  • Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 18 – Steamboat Springs to Arapahoe Basin
  • Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 19 – Copper Mountain Resort to Aspen
  • Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 20 – Aspen to Breckenridge
  • Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 21 – Breckenridge Individual Time Trial
  • Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 22 – ???
  • Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 – Golden to Denver

Last year, fans weighed in on the final stage and ultimately determined a route that took the riders from Boulder, through Golden and finished in Downtown Denver. Due to overwhelming fan interest and support, organizers are again letting people have a say in the course. Fans will be able to help shape the race by logging on to before 11:59 p.m. MT December 12, and giving their opinion on what part of the state Stage 6 should visit.

“Last year we turned to our dedicated fans to help determine the route for the final stage of the Pro Challenge,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “The enthusiasm and valuable opinions that we received convinced us that we should look to our supporters again for their input on the 2015 race. We know our fans are passionate about the sport and we’re looking forward to hearing where they want Stage 6 to go.”

A new overall start for the Pro Challenge, Steamboat Springs, with a population of just more than 12,000, should see that number at least double on race day. Located just west of the Continental Divide and Rabbit Ears Pass, Steamboat is the perfect location to kick off the race and showcase Colorado’s unique scenic beauty. And as the Colorado city that has produced more Olympians than any other, the riders should feel right at home.

In one of the most significant changes to the 2015 route, Breckenridge will host the individual time trial. Located 9,600 ft. above sea level, this course will test the riders with challenging, hilly terrain. With these additions combined with new host cities Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain Resort, the 2015 course will create dramatic moments for the riders and fans.

Known for lung-searing altitudes and intense climbs through the Colorado Rockies, the race is the largest spectator event in the history of the state. The 2014 USA Pro Challenge saw part-time Aspen resident Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team take the overall win for the second year in a row this past August in Denver.

“I am so happy to hear the USA Pro Challenge is going through Aspen again,” said van Garderen. “It is always great to be able to race in front of my family and close friends. Of course, I am curious to see the route they will pick and I am expecting it to be the most challenging route yet.”

Additional details regarding the exact start and finish locations of the 2015 race, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.


USA Pro Challenge Professional Cycling Race Brings an Estimated $130 Million to Colorado!

USA Pro Challenge Professional Cycling Race Brings an Estimated

$130 Million in Economic Impact to the State of Colorado, 12 Percent Increase Over 2013

Largest Spectator Event in Colorado Leaves Lasting Impact on the StateIMG_8572

The 2014 USA Pro Challenge saw 128 of the best professional cyclists in the world compete in the toughest professional cycling race in the U.S.   over the course of seven days, Aug. 18-24. Fans came out in droves to watch the action-packed, heart-pounding racing through the Colorado Rockies. After traveling to 10 host cities for the official stage starts and finishes, and passing through many other notable towns along the way, the estimated economic impact of the race to the State of Colorado is $130 million, according to a study done by Sponsorship Science, a global sports research firm.

The Pro Challenge delivered another strong economic performance in its fourth running, with direct spending by traveling spectators contributing a significant portion of the economic impact. Both those fans from outside the state and Coloradans traveling 50 miles or more to take in an event stage contributed $130 million on lodging, food, transportation and entertainment, an increase of 12 percent year over year. This change was largely driven by a 10 percent increase in the average number of nights stayed and an 11 percent increase in per night average party spend, the result of a 15 percent increase in average per night lodging cost.

“Seeing the enthusiasm and passion from the fans lining the streets during the 2014 USA Pro Challenge really gave a sense of the growing support for the sport of cycling in the U.S.,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the race. “This race showcases Colorado to the world and creates an incredible economic impact locally that can be felt throughout the year. Further, it was great to see an increase in television viewership.”IMG_8230

Following an epic week of racing through picturesque Colorado scenery, America’s most challenging race came to a conclusion in Downtown Denver when Aspen resident Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team maintained his lead and took the overall win for the second year in a row. The race received unprecedented coverage totaling 30 hours on NBC, NBCSports and Universal Sports in the U.S. Additionally, through 40 hours of international coverage, the race was seen in more than 175 countries and territories around the world.

A draw for Colorado travel, 56 percent of spectators claimed they would not have traveled to the state at this time if it were not for the race. And with that, 70.9 percent stated they are likely to return to watch the race next year.

Additional interesting analysis points include:

· Spectators traveled in groups, with the average party consisting of three people

· The average hotel stay for spectators increased in 2014 to 5.3 nights

· 53 percent of race attendees live in households with income exceeding $85,000 and within that group 32 percent had household incomes in excess of $120,000

· Spectators enjoyed their race experience, with more than 80 percent saying they were very satisfied or satisfied with the race

· More than half of spectators in attendance reported they ride a bike for fitness, with 47 percent saying they engage in road cycling a lot

· This was an audience that appreciates the world-class level of competition at the USA Pro Challenge and watches major cycling events on television, with 83.8 percent stating they watch the Tour de France

About the research studyIMG_8276

The USA Pro Challenge commissioned Sponsorship Science LLC, a global sports marketing & research consultancy firm with more than 50 years of executive experience working with events around the world, to continue conducting quantitative research measuring the change in overall economic impact of the Pro Challenge over time.

“While we conduct these types of studies for sports and entertainment clients around the world, across many platforms and geographies, cycling has always been a core sport, and one where we have a wealth of experience, ” said David Porthouse, SVP of Sponsorship Science, LLC. “Our history with the event and trust in the Pro Challenge management team, as well as the promoter Medalist Sports, has allowed us to develop the data and models used to accurately and fairly evaluate the growth of the race over time and its impact on the state of Colorado.”

Sponsorship Science, LLC designed the study from the outset to deliver consistent, defensible results which address many of the contentious issues surrounding economic impact reporting. Kevin Schott, director of Sponsorship Science notes the multi-year relationship with academia via Dr. Brett Boyle, professor within the sports business program at St. Louis University, has paid enormous dividends in terms of scientific rigor and credibility throughout the duration of this long-term relationship, serving as the foundation for the future. Key areas addressed included:

· Substitution effects – Since local fans will often spend similar amounts on local sports and other entertainment, Sponsorship Science, LLC did not include the local fan spend in the economic impact report, as a net impact, although local participation was thoroughly tracked, and forms a significant part of the appeal

· Time shifting – Colorado is an attractive destination for travel, so Sponsorship Science, LLC deliberately filtered respondents to ensure they were not capturing data from spectators already in Colorado, independent of the Pro Challenge, and also used elimination questions to remove those fans who intended to come to Colorado in the near future independent of the race. Despite these rigorous procedures, the number of dedicated fans travelling to the Pro Challenge has followed a long-term growth trend

· Sample sizes – Large samples were taken at all stages, distributed across the race locations, in order to create samples and sub-samples (by age, income, distance travelled, etc.) that are all statistically significant


16 Professional Cycling Teams To Take on Colorado including BMC & Tejay Van Garderen

Every stage is a story - Aspen, Crested Butte - Gunnison - Monarch Mountain - Colorado Springs - Woodland Park - Breckenridge - Vail - Boulder - Denver
July 31 2014
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16 World-Class Professional Cycling Teams To Take on Colorado
The USA Pro Challenge has featured some of the best teams in the world over the last three years and 2014 will be no different,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “We’re giving cycling fans in the United States the chance to see the teams they love up close and in person. Interest in the race continues to grow and this year’s diverse roster of teams is going to create seven intensely competitive days of racing in August.Read More
Pro Challenge Experience presented by UnitedHealthcare
2014 host cities
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See the 2014 Host Cities
Tejay Van Garderen Sets to Defend Title at USA Pro Challenge After Successful Tour de France
The 25-year-old from Aspen, Colo., who won the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, was elevated to BMC Racing’s undeniable team leader this year after serving a three-year apprenticeship. After winning both the USA Pro Challenge and Amgen Tour of California last year, van Garderen took that confidence into 2014 with an eye on a podium spot at the Tour de France.READ MORE


Win Four Tickets to the Pro Challenge Stage of Your Choice: Enter the National Poster Contest by April 18th

Every stage is a story - Aspen, Crested Butte - Gunnison - Monarch Mountain - Colorado Springs - Woodland Park - Breckenridge - Vail - Boulder - Denver
April 8 2014
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Win Four Tickets to the Pro Challenge Stage of Your Choice: Enter the National Poster Contest by April 18th
The 2014 USA Pro Challenge is again hosting a nationwide contest inviting artists to create a national event poster for the fourth annual race that will be seen throughout the world. All types of artists – professional, amateur, aspiring – are encouraged to let their creativity flow and submit their designs via the USA Pro Challenge Facebook page. Entries will be accepted until Friday, April 18, fans can then vote on their favorite poster through May 2, with the winners being announced on Monday, May 5.Once entries are submitted, the race’s thousands of loyal Facebook fans will have a chance to cast their votes for the ten best national posters. From there, the Pro Challenge team will select the winner. The winner will receive four passes to the VIP hospitality tent in the city of their choice, in addition to having his/her poster produced and sold to fans both online and onsite during the race August 18-24.Read More
Poster Contest
2014 host cities
Merch of the Month
See the 2014 Host Cities
A new group of Americans are making waves on the world stage.When Tejay van Garderen pulled off an improbable double last year, winning both the USA Pro Challenge and Amgen Tour of California, it was, in essence a statement of the changing of the guard.Read More
Pro Challenge Host City Highlight: Crested Butte
Crested Butte
A historic coal mining turned ski town; Crested Butte is a place that lives and breathes outdoor adventure where the only limits are your own. An authentic destination, where crowds don’t exist, zany, festive community events are a priority, and genuine family adventure awaits. In between the winter months where skiing is abundant and the activity of choice, comes a summer season in
Crested Butte that rivals the beauty of any mountain town.Read More
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USA ProChallenge stage 2: Exciting and Exhausting

Two things stood out in the USA ProChallenge stage 2. Exhausted riders. So tired that just feet after the finish line they were holding on to the fences. Too tired to get off their bikes.

The second thing was Tejay Van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing who had his first professional win.


Of Course there are always locals…….


After every race the bikes are examined top to bottom front to back. Everything is cleaned, checked, lubed and put back together.

Can you say Truck Insurance?


































I’m always curious what people think when something like this comes to town. Do the people who are working to make it happen think it is worth the effort.

At the 2011 ProChallenge I asked the Colorado State Highway Patrol motorcycle riders if they were having a good time. To a person they got big grins on their faces and said yes.

Today as I was driving up to Mt. Crested Butte I rolled down my window and asked a Gunnison law enforcement officer if it was worth the effort. I got the immediately politically correct yes. Then a second later there was a big smile and the officer looked at me and said yes nodding his head.

Many in a city like Montrose or Gunnison will look at the cost, the disruption and try to determine if there was “value” in bringing the 2012 ProChallenge to their town.  I think in both cases, if you come close to breaking even, even in these tough times, putting a grin on a cops face, watching people cheering madly for every rider as they toil up the hills, seeing people just having a blast makes it very worthwhile!

Good job Mt. Crested Butte, Montrose, Gunnison and every community that helped bring this to Colorado today. I look forward to tomorrow.