USA Pro Challenge Stage 6 Route Announced: Loveland to Fort Collins

Stage 6 of 2015 USA Pro Challenge will take Riders from Loveland to Fort Collins

Fans Helped Shape Stage 6 of Colorado Professional Cycling Race

Denver (Dec. 22, 2014) – With the majority of the host cities announced for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge, organizers looked to fans to help determine the start and finish locations for Stage 6. Thousands of fans submitted their opinions, providing more than 20 start and finish city options. In the end, nearly half the responses encouraged a return to Northern Colorado resulting in a Stage 6 start in Loveland and a finish in Fort Collins.

“Loveland and Fort Collins have been such great host cities in the past and we’re looking forward to visiting them again,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “Last year, we gave fans the chance to weigh in on the final stage of the race and we got a huge response with people voicing their support for the two different options. This year, the fans once again showed their passion for the sport through an overwhelming number of responses regarding where Stage 6 should take place.”

After the initial host cities announcement just over two weeks ago, during which six of the seven stages for the 2015 race were revealed, fans were given the opportunity to provide suggestions for Stage 6 through Facebook and the race website.

USA Pro Challenge fan Michael DePalma wanted a return to Northern Colorado stating it, “offers some of the most spectacular cycling opportunities in the state.” And many spoke to returning to areas that were greatly damaged by the 2013 floods. Gary Crews said the Pro Challenge will, “help us further recover from the flooding and put a smile on the face of riders and residents alike.”

With the fans’ opinions taken into account, the Stage 6 host cities have been determined. And while the host cities are familiar to the race, after visiting them in 2013, the route through Larimer County promises to be new and unique in 2015.

“It has been incredible to witness the outpouring of support from the Northern Colorado community who has rallied together to bring back the USA Pro Challenge in 2015,” said Local Organizing Member Eric Thompson. “We are honored to have been selected for Stage 6 next summer and look forward to sharing the excitement with the cycling fans that made it happen.”

Taking place Aug. 17-23, the host cities and 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 – Loveland to Fort Collins
  • Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 – Golden to Denver

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

About the USA Pro Challenge

Referred to as “America’s Race,” the USA Pro Challenge will take place August 17-23, 2015. For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Colorado Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure. One of the largest cycling events in U.S. history and the largest spectator event in the history of the state, the USA Pro Challenge is back for 2015.

More information can be found online at www.USAProChallenge.com and on Twitter at @USAProChallenge.


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

 


Win Jens Voigt’s 2014 Tour de France Bike!

Jens Voigt’s 2014 Tour de France Bike to be Given Away through USA Pro Challenge Tour Tracker Sweepstakes

Fan Favorite Giving Bike to Fans During Final Professional Race

Woodland Park, Colo. (Aug. 22, 2014) –Trek Factory Racing’s Jens Voigt (GER) will be giving away the bike he rode during the 2014 Tour de France through a sweepstakes on the 2014 USA Pro Challenge Tour Tracker mobile app. Fans will have a chance to collect a piece of professional cycling history as Voigt hangs up his jersey and retires from the sport following the Pro Challenge.

“Yep, the Pro Challenge is my last race. I still can’t believe it myself,” said Voigt. “I’ve been a cyclist for 33 years…that’s been the most constant part of my life. It’s going to be a big chunk that’s closing. There are going to be a lot of challenges coming my way. It was a good career. I had some great moments. I met some of the greatest people in the world. I am thankful for the sport of cycling and what it gave to me.”

To enter to win the Trek Madone Team Edition bike Voigt rode in the 2014 Tour de France, fans can download the free USA Pro Challenge Tour Tracker mobile app on iTunes and Google Play. Then, click on the “more” button at the bottom of the screen and complete the entry form.

 

 

 

Entries will be accepted starting today (Friday, Aug. 22) through Sunday, Aug. 24 at 11:59 p.m. MT. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and a legal resident of the U.S. to win. The winner will be selected and notified on September 2. For full rules and details, please log on to prochallenge.com/Jens.

“I think I have a pretty good fan base in the U.S. and it just felt right to end my career here in Colorado,” added Voigt. “I am a big fan of the idea that you are the master of your destiny. I want to stop in good condition and put on a show one more time…finish feeling good and strong, knowing that I squeezed every little bit out of me.

About the USA Pro Challenge

Referred to as “America’s Race,” the USA Pro Challenge will take place August 18-24, 2014. For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Colorado Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure. One of the largest cycling events in U.S. history and the largest spectator event in the history of the state, the USA Pro Challenge continues to set records in professional cycling by taking the riders to unprecedented elevations. Featuring a challenging course, the fourth annual race will spotlight the best of the best in professional cycling and some of America’s most beautiful scenery. More information can be found online at www.USAProChallenge.com and on Twitter at @USAProChallenge.

 


Altitude is more than you think. Even professional bike racers are worried about the altitude in Aspen

The conversation at the pre-race press conference and the press conference after stage one was the concern about the altitude.

Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team had this to say about the altitude

“I am by no means a pure sprinter, but this course is a bit of a slap in the face, what a tough way to start a stage race. It’s a really deceptive stage. It’s difficult to control and it’s really unpredictable. I’m still out of breath and it’s been more than an hour since the finish, and I was already at altitude to begin with.”

Alex Howes (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp

“I myself am a victim of the high altitude. It was pretty relaxed for the first third of the race, but that last lap really heated it up and it was just full gas from there on. You see a lot of punch and lift from riders toward the end, and that’s not really something you see at this kind of altitude. It’s pretty exciting to see that out here.”

Colorado Resident Kiel Reijnen Takes Stage 1 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge

Crowds of Cheering Fans Lined the Streets of Downtown Aspen to Greet the Best Riders in the World

Aspen, Colo. (Aug. 18, 2014) – Set against the beautiful backdrop of Aspen and Snowmass, the 2014 USA Pro Challenge got off to an exciting start with a circuit race of three 22-miles laps that included 2,300 ft. of climbing per lap, creating an aggressive day of racing. Colorado Resident Kiel Reijnen (USA) of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team took home the stage win, which also puts him in the overall lead heading into the second day of racing.

“This stage was really exciting last year. It was a nail-biter and this year was the same,” said Reijnen. “The USA Pro Challenge is a huge goal for our team. Everyone is here watching and it’s really important to the team we do well here.”

In a close finish, Reijnen took the stage win, followed by Howes in second and Ben Hermans (BEL) of BMC Racing Team in third.

After the conclusion of the first stage of the USA Pro Challenge, Reijnen holds the Smashburger Leader Jersey, Lexus Sprint Jersey and, new for this year, the Colorado National Guard Best Colorado Rider Jersey . Jacques-Maynes has the Sierra Nevada King of the Mountains Jersey and Summerhill was awarded the FirstBank Most Aggressive Rider Jersey. Clement Chevrier (FRA) of Bissell Development Team has the Colorado State University Best Young Rider Jersey heading into Stage 2 tomorrow.

IMG_6199 IMG_6249 IMG_6293

 

 


USA Pro Challenge Starts Monday

http://static.squarespace.com/static/52a0ba8fe4b0e1ca730d4651/t/53d0016ce4b04bb2ac884554/1406140789164/Pro%20Challenge

Are you ready to race in Colorado?

The USA Pro Challenge starts Monday in Aspen.

Find the route near you and go see the race!

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USA Pro Challenge brings out the best in its fans

Bicycle racing is more than just cycling. The atmosphere is always fun.

Why do spectators enjoy looking great at cycling raisesclip_image002

One of the great joys of watching the climbs on the grand European tours is the time we have to watch the outfits the spectators wear. That desire to be European fashion conscious has crossed the Atlantic and is growing in the US. The US Pro Challenge has seen an increase each year in the desire to be seen on the tour.

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People in costumes always waive and love to have their picture taken.

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Her sign says have you seen my friend. She must have known an orange cowboy hat and purple tights might make her friends hard to find.clip_image008

Do the riders have the time as they wiz by to see the outfits?

Some costumes are difficult to assign a category too, however at least he is riding a bike. That may or may not be good for cycling.

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Some of the outfits can be as easy as a hat to makes you stand out in the crowd or a hair color so you loved ones can spot you…..and hide. When wearing a similar hat the pope always seems to smile.clip_image012

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Do you think Jens saw him?

Then you see the group costumes where friends (or at least I hope they are friends) agree on a theme to wear to the raise. clip_image016

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I’m not exactly sure the true nature of some of the themes. The relationship between Santa Clause and a Yeti in Vail still has me confused. The Wheaties box is just an afterthought….I hope.

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It is bad when two people in a costume start to argue about it. It is always a hard to hear what the argument is about when both voices are coming from fur covered heads.

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Age is not a limiting factor in costumes. No matter how small you may be getting dressed up is part of the excitement of the tour.clip_image024

Unless maybe you dad makes you wear the costume, in the heat. But at least no one can recognize you if it covers your face.clip_image026

There always the marketing gurus who send employees out to represent their products. Energy snacks, water bottles two perennial favorites.

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The best are when friends know a rider in the tour and want to show their support. Although I’m not sure I would come out of the team RV to see my friends of a gold speedo was the costume of choice.clip_image032clip_image034

His face mask almost matches his tattoo.

Even the UCI gets into the race, maybe just a crown, but it is still more than a non-descript ball cap.clip_image036

What is curious is when a city gets into the act. The winner of the stage that ends in Breckenridge has the dubious honor of being photographed with a fur hat and shield. I thought winners were to be lauded, not punished?clip_image038

Even if you are not a big fan of bicycle racing (heaven forbid) you should at least stroll the start and finish near you to see the fans!


Buffets

BuffetsIMG_3233

You work with the PR team of a professional cycling team to schedule a time to talk to a rider. You email back and forth frantically during the race, at night and stop by the team bus in the morning to stand around wearing a pleading puppy face.

You get a date so you start working on your questions. You research the rider you got the time to sit down with, and you know the person inside and out. You start out with general ones, softballs to set the ground work, to start the information flowing. Then you start working your way to the tougher questions.

Then the day arrives. You attend the race and jot notes about your rider’s race that day. You get back to your room early to clean up, and you arrive ten minutes before the scheduled time.  Not too early to look too eager, but never late. You find a place to talk, secure yet open so everyone feels good and information will flow. The rider comes down and sits down to talk. You exchange pleasantries, and you start with the easy questions to get things rolling.

But the rider throws back a curve, and your prepared questions gently fall to the floor as you grin and jump on the answer.

Buffets. What is your favorite thing about racing in the US? Buffets.

I had the opportunity to interview Richie Porte of Team Sky at the USA Pro Challenge. Every statement above is true. I did not want to sound like an amateur or an idiot and by the end of the interview, I did not care. When you ask a professional bicycle racer what his favorite thing about racing in a county, and he says the buffet’s it throws you for a laughing out loud loop from which you never recover.

After talking to professional cyclists for years, this was the last answer I expected, but it was the first thing out of the mouth of Richie Porte during the USA Pro Challenge. However, after listening to him compare the fare offered at the Tour de France or the rest of the European races I understood. Based on Richie’s comments, it was easy to maintain weight on the Tour de France because if you waited too long there was nothing to it. Even if you got to dinner early, it still was slim pickings.

Richie Porte, along with Chris Froome had been in the US for two weeks training and enjoying the country before the USA Pro Challenge even started. Once the race started, they raced. However, they thoroughly enjoyed the racing in the US, buffets included.

The next thing Richie said was the fans were fantastic. I’m sure after watching the three segments of the Tour de France through the IMG_3228UK, he might change his mind, but he said the US fans were fantastic. If you went off the back in France, the fans called you names, gave you grief and sometimes spit at you.

Here in the US, the fans cheered and clapped for everyone, even the last rider was encouraged to ride better. US fans are just happy to watch great athletes race.

Teams enjoy coming to the US for the USA Pro Challenge besides the food and the fans. The views along the race course are unmatched outside of Nepal. The crowds are not only enthusiastic, but they understand bicycle racing. The word peloton in Colorado does not get you a questioning express. Coloradans understand bicycle racing.

After spending an hour with Richie Porte, I had a great time, met a great person and obviously, a great cyclist. Richie still had a smile and a great sense of humor even after a hard day riding in the thin air.

This tough piece investigating a Team Sky rider reads like a chamber of commerce piece encouraging people to come to Colorado. Obviously, the riders enjoy racing in the US.

A Start


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
Merch of the Month
See the 2014 Host Cities
Tejay Van Garderen Sets to Defend Title at USA Pro Challenge After Successful Tour de France
Tejay
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

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Want to Volunteer for the USA Pro Challenge, sign up Now!

Every stage is a story - Aspen, Crested Butte - Gunnison - Monarch Mountain - Colorado Springs - Woodland Park - Breckenridge - Vail - Boulder - Denver

USA Pro Challenge Volunteer Opportunities – Sign-Up Now!

The USA Pro Challenge is seeking volunteers for the professional cycling race, which will travel through some of Colorado’s most scenic regions August 18-24. Cycling fans and enthusiasts are encouraged to participate in this momentous event by signing up for volunteer positions along the 550-mile course in Aspen, Snowmass, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Monarch Mountain, Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Breckenridge, Vail, Boulder and Denver.Volunteers looking for an opportunity to participate in the race can apply online for positions at http://www.prochallenge.com/volunteer-signup. The majority of volunteers are needed to serve as course marshals, providing support to professional course marshals that travel with the Tour and the local law enforcement authorities in each host city. Volunteers selected as course marshals will have the unique opportunity to be present on the race route, in a close proximity to the cyclists, and are tasked with monitoring pedestrian traffic, street closures and barricades.READ MORE
Volunteer for the USA Pro Challenge
2014 host cities
Merch of the Month
See the 2014 Host Cities
Sign-up today for the Inaugural Aspen Gran Fondo on June 14th!
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Aspen Silver Cycling, in partnership with the USA Pro Challenge is set to stage the inaugural ASPEN GRAN FONDO June 14th in Aspen & Snowmass Colorado. This mass participation ride is open to all riders at all skill levels and will showcase a 50 mile route with portions of ride along the same route the pros will ride in the upcoming Stage One & Two of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge-August 18th & 19th.Don’t delay- register today! Reserve your spot for this unique cycling experience.Visit www.granfondoaspen.com for more details
Pro Challenge Experience Presented by UnitedHealthcare – August 10th!
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We’ve added a new element to the Pro Challenge Experience presented by UnitedHealthcare this year! Compete in the new Champions Challenge, where three teams of 30 will race to finish the 50 mile course first- captained by a National Champion. Who will you side with? Timmy Duggan (Team Red), Chris Baldwin (Team White) or Alison Dunlap (Team Blue)?The aggregate scores of the top ten riders in each team will determine the winning team. The fastest overall individual will receive two passes to the VIP Hospitality Tent at the Stage 7 Denver finish.Spots are limited, so register today!

For more information, visit:
www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com/pro-challenge-experience

Peter Sagan: Last Year’s Top Cyclist Looks to Second Half of the Season Success
Monarch & Salida
Throughout 2013, the man known as “The Terminator”, did all he could to exact Judgment Day on the rest of the professional peloton last year, notching 27 wins and winning the Sprint Points jersey in five stage races, landing him as the world’s second-ranked rider at the end of the season.READ MORE
Host City Highlight: Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs
Often referred to as the “Amateur Sports Capital of the U.S.”, Colorado Springs is home to the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Olympic Training Center and 56 sports organizations including 22 National Governing Bodies of Sports (USA Cycling, USA Triathlon, USA Hockey, etc.).READ MORE
LOOK FOR THE YELLOW: MAVIC BACK AS NEUTRAL TECH SERVICES
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Known for their yellow cars that roll behind the professional peloton racing the 700-plus miles of roads of the USA Pro Challenge, MAVIC is back providing neutral technical services.READ MORE
Nissan UnitedHealthcare Colorado Smashburger
Sierra Nevada CSU Centura Health 1stBank
CO National Guard Coke Team Novo Nordisk Jelly Belly
Pearl Optum 9news Denver Post

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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
YOUNG GUNS
0433_USPCC13_Lawson_CraddockPhSpt2.170010.jpg
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
Nissan United Healthcare Colorado Sierra Nevada
Smashburger CSU 1stBank Colorado National Guard
Coca Cola Jelly Belly Pearl Optum
Maxxis 9news Post US Forest Service

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Stage 7 of USA Pro Challenge Decided: Boulder through Golden to Denver. 3 Bike Epicenters in 1 Day

Every stage is a story USA PRO CHALLENGE Aspen Snowmass Breckenridge steamboat springs beaver creek vail loveland fort collins denver
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Final Stage of 2014 USA Pro Challenge will Take Riders Through
Iconic Parts of Colorado from Boulder through Golden to Denver
Fans Helped Shape Stage 7 of America’s Most Difficult Professional Cycling RaceDenver (Dec. 18, 2013) – The fans have spoken, and Stage 7 of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge professional cycling race will take riders from Boulder through Golden and over Lookout Mountain, finishing with three circuits around Downtown Denver. Just more than a month after the announcement of the first six stages and hearing the opinion of fans as to where Stage 7 should travel, the final day’s route has been determined.“The 2014 USA Pro Challenge is going to be the most exciting year yet,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the USA Pro Challenge. “Boulder, Golden and Denver have been such great hosts over the history of the race, so we decided to work them all into the final day of competition. These three iconic Colorado cycling locations are going to create one grand finale!”

Beginning in Boulder, which served as the Stage 6 finish in 2012, the race will travel through Golden, which saw record crowds as a start city in 2012, and finish with three laps around the State’s Capitol, which has served as the finish location every year of the race. The day also incorporates an incredibly challenging and fan-favorite climb on Lookout Mountain.

“Cycling fans are so passionate and such an important part of the sport, so we decided to give them a voice in the route selection process,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “We wanted to try something new this year and by incorporating fan feedback we have come up with what is going to be an incredible final day of racing.”

Taking place Aug. 18-24, the host cities and stages of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge include:
• Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 18 – Aspen and Snowmass Village 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 – Boulder to Denver

Additional details regarding the start and finish locations of the 2014 race, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.

2013 host cities get the gear Facebook

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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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USA Pro Challenge offers riders chance to shine

Every stage is a story USA PRO CHALLENGE Aspen Snowmass Breckenridge steamboat springs beaver creek vail loveland fort collins denver
May 24, 2013
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Announcing the Pro Challenge Experience Presented by UnitedHealthcare!
Come Ride On Sunday, August 11th!
First 200 riders to register receive Premium Cycling Sunglasses valued at $100+!REGISTER TODAY!

Fastest time up Red Feather KOM receives a spot to ride before the Pros in the Amateur Time Trial, along with two hospitality passes to the Founders Box on August 23rd in Vail!

Join the adventure on Sunday, August 11 for the first annual Larimer County Pro Challenge Experience! Larimer County is famous for 3 things: the rugged natural beauty of the Rockies and our countless nature areas, a commitment to bike culture (which led this year to Fort Collins receiving Platinum status in the League of American Cyclists Bike Friendly Communities rankings), and our passion for great beer. The Larimer Experience brings all 3 together for one day that celebrates everything that makes Northern Colorado great. After departing from the famed New Belgium Brewery, the course tours the vast and breathtaking vistas of the region via tranquil county roads. But make no mistake, this is no Sunday cruise. The frontier spirit of Larimer County is on display in the 108 mile challenge, which includes over 30 miles of roadie friendly gravel and clay roads, plus an epic ascent from the front range into the remote and awe-inspiring Red Feather Lakes region. The more forgiving 52 and 30 mile courses are no less scenic, and all finish back at New Belgium for a great party. Ride benefits the Noco Rebuilding Network, a local charity supporting the rebuilding efforts of those affected by natural disasters in Northern Colorado.

King of Red Feather KOM

Between the town of Livermore and the community of Red Feather Lakes, Red Feather Lakes Road starts as an idyllic series of paved rollers that gradually transition to long sustained climbs, with sections of grades over 10%. This challenging ascent requires more than simple endurance. Any rider who wants the crown had better come prepared with climbing smarts and cunning, as well as the lungs and legs to back them up!

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USA Pro Challenge Announces 2013 Route. 8 Colorado Cities get picked

USA PRO CHALLENGE

USA Pro Challenge heads to eight Colorado cities

Third annual edition of race starts in Aspen and expects over 1 million fans to line the route.

Aspen, Colo. – The nation’s most challenging cycling race will call eight Colorado cities home in 2013 when it starts in Aspen on August 19 and ends in Denver on August 25, 2013. The USA Pro Challenge announced its host cities today, naming the communities that will serve as the starts and finishes for the third annual stage race.

After drawing more than 1 million fans in each of the first two years and generating nearly $200 million in cumulative economic impact for the State of Colorado, the USA Pro Challenge will make its debut in Fort Collins and Loveland in 2013 while bringing many of the worlds best riders back to cities like Steamboat Springs, Vail and Denver.

The host cities and stages of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge include:

  • Monday, Aug. 19 Stage 1 Aspen/Snowmass Circuit

  • Tuesday, Aug. 20 Stage 2 Aspen/Snowmass – Breckenridge

  • Wednesday, Aug. 21 Stage 3 Breckenridge – Steamboat Springs

  • Thursday, Aug. 22 Stage 4 Steamboat Springs – Beaver Creek

  • Friday, Aug. 23 Stage 5/ITT Vail Time Trial

  • Saturday, Aug. 24 Stage 6 Loveland – Fort Collins

  • Sunday, Aug. 25 Stage 7 Denver Circuit

“Riders now know that there is no race in America like the USA Pro Challenge, and these host cities help ensure cycling’s world stage returns to Colorado for seven days of grueling competition,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO and Co-Chairman of the USA Pro Challenge. “Each of these communities will be on an international stage as we partner with them to ensure the USA Pro Challenge takes its place as America’s greatest race.”

In just two years, the USA Pro Challenge has established itself as one of the most challenging and competitive races in the world, drawing the best cyclists in the sport and accolades from around the world.

“When you combine the high-altitude climbs, the enthusiasm of the crowds and the level of competition, the USA Pro Challenge is one of my favorite race weeks,” said Christian Vandevelde, the overall winner of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge. “I can’t wait to get back in 2013 and defend the title with my Garmin-Sharp teammates.”

The two new cities joining the 2013 race – Fort Collins and Loveland – offer breathtaking scenery, as well as a unique cycling history, that will add to the overall impact of the race.

“With the addition of Loveland and Fort Collins we are adding two cities that have built a community around the cycling culture,” Hunter said. “We are thrilled to incorporate their enthusiasm as we continue to showcase Colorado as the center of the nation’s cycling spirit.”

Further details of the start and finish line locations, as well as the specific, detailed route, will be announced in the spring. With its consolidated footprint and multiple back-to-back stages, the 2013 race will ensure that spectators in host cities will have many opportunities to root for their favorite rider or team.

A number of criteria were taken into consideration when evaluating potential host cities, including full city services support. The race also considered commitments in the areas of lodging, volunteer recruitment, marketing and local tourism, as well as an ability to host world-class athletes and promote the State of Colorado.

“The USA Pro Challenge has created an entirely new audience for our state,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said. “Not only is it the best American competition, it’s essentially a week-long advertisement for our state with 128 of the best cyclists in the world acting as tour guides.”

About the USA Pro Challenge
For seven consecutive days, the world’s premier cyclists race through the majestic Colorado Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure – more than two miles in elevation. One of the largest cycling events in United States history, the 2013 race will feature the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery.

Referred to as “America’s Race,” the third annual USA Pro Challenge will take place August 19-25, 2013. More than 1 million spectators are expected to once again line the route again in 2013, while millions more around the world will watch the race on television and online through the Tour Tracker. The two previous winners of the Pro Challenge were Levi Leipheimer in 2011 and Christian Vandevelde in 2012.

More information can be found on the website www.USAProCyclingChallenge.com and Twitter page @USAProChallenge.

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USA ProChallenge Cycling Race Photographs

Stage 2 Photos:

http://rec-law.us/NtNVu0

Stage 3 Photos

http://rec-law.us/P0THU5

Stage 4 Photos

http://rec-law.us/T1LrWr

Stage 5

http://rec-law.us/Nosws7

Stage 6

http://rec-law.us/QDVdvO

 


USA ProChallenge Cycling Race Photographs

Stage 2 Photos:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.488996181113566.119986.100000095662813&type=1&l=1d738f38c1

Stage 3 Photos

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.488983937781457.119983.100000095662813&type=1&l=66cbfec513

Stage 4 Photos

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.489459991067185.120174.100000095662813&type=1&l=35e28b2391

BEAVER CREEK, CO - AUGUST 23: Jens Voigt of Ge...


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.


The Tour of Utah is gaining status: top 5 teams will compete this year.

Liquigas-Cannondale, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, BMC Racing Team, Rabobank Cycling Teamand Garmin-Barracuda are five of the top 12 teams that

TOOELE, UT - AUGUST 12:  George Hincapie of th...

TOOELE, UT - AUGUST 12: George Hincapie of the USA and riding for BMC Racing Team races to tenth place in the Individual Time Trial during Stage Three of the Tour of Utah at the Miller Motorsports Park on August 12, 2011 in Tooele, Utah. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

will compete in the Tour of Utah this year.

The Tour of Utah is scheduled for August 7-12 and will be the first major cycling event after the Tour de France

Two weeks later they come to Utah for the USA Pro Challenge!

See Tour of Utah to boast 5 top teams

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Aspen adding $100K to its budget for the USA Pro Challenge

Great for Aspen and Pitkin County

Hotel Jerome, Aspen, CO, USA

Hotel Jerome, Aspen, CO, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article is interesting in that it explains how pro-cycling works in the US. The cities involved in the USA Pro Challenge pay to have the race come to their town.

The article shows where the money is coming from and why and how much is being contributed by government and how much is being raised by the community.

This article is also interesting because Aspen reported that it lost money on the 2011 USA Pro Challenge when it came to town. See $83.5 million brought to Colorado by the USA Pro Challenge!

See Aspen’s Pro Cycling budget increases by $100K

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Colombian cyclist Rafel Infantino, in the 2011...

Colombian cyclist Rafel Infantino, in the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge Español: Ciclista colombiano Rafael Infantino, durante el USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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USA Pro-Challenge Route Announced

These cyclists are going to work hard this year.

To see a map of each stage of the race go here.

Stage 1: Durango to Telluride – Monday, Aug. 20

TAYLOR PARK, CO - AUGUST 24:  Levi Leipheimer ...

This year’s Grand Depart will begin with a unique start of two neutral laps through downtown, followed by a larger 6.5-mile racing loop that encompasses most of town and then heads back through downtown for the first Sprint Line of 2012. A few bumpy feet of road as the racers cross the tracks of Durango’s famous Narrow Gauge Railroad will send the riders on their way out of town toward Telluride. On the ride out of LaPlata County the racers will have to tackle the Hesperus Climb on US 160. After a challenging, rolling ride across the high windswept plains and the second Sprint Line in the town of Dolores, the riders start a gradual canyon climb that lasts more than 30 miles. Topping out over Lizard Head Pass at 10,222 ft., any time gaps gained going up must be maintained on the 15-mile descent into Telluride. A tight and technical finish awaits the riders in the small, scenic town and they must navigate a small round-about and four turns in the last mile before sprinting to the finish line.

Stage 2:  Montrose to Crested Butte – Tuesday, Aug. 21

At 99 miles, Stage 2 is a mix of old and new. Beginning with a new course for the first 65 miles, the race then visits familiar territory as it passes through Gunnison and retraces the 2011 route up to the grueling finish in Mt. Crested Butte. Beginning at Montrose Pavilion, the stage will begin with a quick neutral lap, then the riders head east out of town. As Montrose fades into the distance, the short but challenging climbs over Cerro Summit and Blue Mesa Summit await and make for early launch pads for the breakaway specialists.

As the road levels giving way to the picturesque twists and turns along the shores of Blue Mesa Reservoir, the riders approach the first Sprint Line of the day in Gunnison, 65 miles away from the start in Montrose. Gunnison will host the race two days in a row, first as a pass-through in Stage 2 and then as a start city in Stage 3. Moving north out of Gunnison breakaway time gaps will shrink, team leaders will move to the front and domestiques will protect and position their leaders. As the riders head into downtown Crested Butte, they face the day’s last Sprint Line. From there it’s a 2-mile climb to the line at Mt. Crested Butte. A dynamic and exciting uphill finish, this short, but steep hill gave Levi Leipheimer the leader’s jersey in 2011.

Stage 3:  Gunnison to Aspen– Wednesday, Aug. 22

TAYLOR PARK, CO - AUGUST 24:  Jason McCartney ...

In 2011, U.S. stage racing saw one of its toughest days with the ride from Gunnison to Aspen and in 2012 the “Queen Stage” will again feature two of the highest climbs in professional racing. The stage starts in downtown Gunnison with a short neutral section leading out of town; however, as soon as the racing begins, so do the challenges. Just after the first right turn the riders face the first Sprint Line of the day in the small community of Almont. This will most likely be the last time the true sprinters will play a part in this stage, as the race quickly turns uphill and heads toward the first King of the Mountain (KOM) of the day near Taylor Park Reservoir.

A short, flat section on the north side of the reservoir will be the last pavement the field will see for almost 14 miles, as the dirt climb that follows will take the race to 12,126 ft. and the highest point of the week at Cottonwood Pass. A beautiful, twisting descent will take the peloton down into the town of Buena Vista and the second sprint line of the day before heading north on US 24 to Twin Lakes. The left towards Twin Lakes will show the field what is to come as they see the massive ridge in front of them. Although the climb up Independence Pass is paved and not quite as high as Cottonwood, it is sure to produce fireworks again this year. Lined with fans in 2011, the climb to 12,095 ft. caused several gaps in the field that led to an exciting finish in Aspen, which will no doubt be duplicated in 2012.

Stage 4:  Aspen to Beaver Creek – Thursday, Aug. 23

Elevation is the main story for Stage 4 because with much of the course above 9,000 ft., it will be anything but easy. Those who conquered Independence Pass on Stage 3 will see it again very early in Stage 4, with the climb starting almost immediately after several neutral start laps in downtown Aspen. Unlike the previous day, the climb may not decide the winner, but will be an ideal launching point for a breakaway or possibly an overall contender to lose time.

Anyone who is brave enough to attack over Independence Pass will be faced with more than 75 miles of racing at altitude. Along the way they will compete for a sprint in the historic town of Leadville, the highest incorporated city in the United States at 10,152 ft. Next on the agenda will be the climb over the Continental Divide at Tennessee Pass (10,424 ft.) before descending into Minturn and tackling the rolling run toward the final climb to Beaver Creek. Passing through the 2011 start city of Avon, the peloton will be faced by a stiff 2.5-mile climb that rises almost 1,000 ft. to the ski resort of Beaver Creek. Although not the fiercest climb on the route, the finale is sure to produce exciting racing, especially among those fighting for the overall lead.

Stage 5:  Breckenridge to Colorado Springs – Friday, Aug. 24

Stage 5 will see two returning host cities, but in new roles. A rude awakening is the only way to describe the start of Stage 5 in Breckenridge. After a short flat section through downtown, the riders will have to face the daunting 10-mile climb up Hoosier Pass, which tops out at 11,500 ft. The summit is followed by a fast descent into Fairplay and with that, the high mountains are left behind and a day for the sprinters and breakaway specialists awaits. A fast rush across Colorado’s high plains end with a Sprint Line in Woodland Park where the riders may hit their fastest speeds of the week, and from there they continue downhill to Colorado Springs through the shadow of Pikes Peak. Once in Colorado Springs the route will take a technical uphill run through the Garden of the Gods, home of the 2011 Prologue. From there the route takes a quick downhill run to downtown for the 2012 race’s only finishing circuits. With the peloton passing through the finish line three times as they blast around downtown Colorado Springs, spectators will be treated to a thrilling high-speed, elbow-to-elbow competition.

Stage 6:  Golden to Boulder – Saturday, Aug. 25

Stage 6 will depart from Golden, a second-year host city and site of one of the largest crowds in the 2011 race, but not before several circuit laps around downtown provide fans with the chance to cheer on their favorite riders. The peloton will then head north on CO 93 en route to Boulder, a city very well known for its bicycle culture. Upon arrival in downtown Boulder, the sprinters will have an opportunity to earn valuable points with a sprint line adjacent to the Pearl Street Mall and the USA Pro Challenge expo area.

After the sprint points have been awarded, the route will head up Boulder Canyon along CO 119 towards Nederland and the day’s first KOM competition. Joining the cycling fans in this small mountain town will be the 14th Annual Nedfest, a music, arts and microbrew festival. Riders will continue climbing as they are faced with ascents exceeding 9,300 ft. on the incredible Peak to Peak Highway before a long and fast descent into the town of Lyons, where they will encounter another sprint line and the annual Rocky Mountain Folk Festival.

Classic local climbs up Lefthand Canyon and Lee Hill Rd. present the next set of challenges for the riders before they return for one final pass through downtown Boulder. In a dramatic race to the finish, the riders will head up “The Hill” to Flagstaff Mountain where a 3.5-mile vertical, dramatic race to the finish line at Sunrise Amphitheater will commence.

Stage 7:  Denver Individual Time Trial – Sunday, Aug. 26

After a week of tough week of racing over mountains at altitude, the Stage 7 Individual Time Trial will be a completely different kind of race – and one that could dramatically change the results. By taking the team factor out of the race, this flat and fast course in downtown Denver will have those looking to take the overall win facing a tough individual test, making this one of the most exciting finishes possible.

Using many of the same roads as the final Denver finish circuits of 2011, the course will provide a challenge for the riders and fantastic viewing opportunities for race fans. Starting at one-minute intervals, with the final riders going off at two minutes, near the State Capitol Building in Denver’s Civic Center Park, the riders will first face a familiar out-and-back section along Speer Blvd. and Colfax Ave., with a slight detour through the entertainment district along Larimer Street.

Returning toward the start area on Colfax, the riders will turn north to 17th Ave. and a long section of straight road, eventually delivering them to City Park. A short, but technical run through the park will return the riders to 17th Ave., allowing spectators to see their favorite riders pass by again. Two quick turns will put the riders back on Broadway headed south to the finish line adjacent to Civic Center Park.

The USA Pro Challenge will be a great race this year!

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