With dramatic daily lead changes and a capricious finale that unfolded at Denver’s Individual Time Trial stage, last year’s USA Pro Challenge was one of the closest professional cycling road races in American history. This year’s competition is poised to be even more riveting as Colorado’s largest two-wheeled spectator event — and cycling’s most difficult race — returns for a third season, today through August 25.
:The 2013 edition will see the addition of two host cities (Loveland and Fort Collins), the return of Vail’s iconic 2011 Time Trial route, and such high-profile names as 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome; Peter Sagan; Jens Voigt; and returning Pro Challenge champ Christian Vande Velde.
The 599-mile course traverses eight cities, starting with one hell of an opener in Aspen: three 22-mile laps, each involving a 3,080-foot climb. It concludes at Sunday’s Circuit Race in Denver, where sprinters will whiz through LoDo, City Park and Civic Center on their way to a final showdown at the Capitol.
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“We created a course that would be challenging for the riders while providing ideal viewing locations for spectators,” CEO Shawn Hunter says of such beautiful, torturous rites as the ascents up Rabbit Ears and Independence passes. Sideline spectating is free; for information on VIP packages and a map of the course, visit usaprocyclingchallenge.com/select-race-experiences.
Aug. 19-25, 2013