USA Pro Challenge in Colorado

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The USA Pro Challenge is only in its third year, but it’s already tops with cycling lovers for the excitement and attention it brings to their beloved sport — and for how it shows off Colorado’s spectacular topography.

The 2014 USA Pro Challenge host cities have been announced! Make plans to attend the largest spectator event in the history of the state and one of the largest cycling events in the country. 

2014 USA Pro Challenge Host Cities & Schedule

Each host city will put on special events that celebrate cycling and the Rocky Mountain towns that love it — for racers and non-racers alike — including race festivals, concerts, bike tours, expos and more. Easy-going crowds gather at each beautiful stage, which will take riders along some of Colorado’s most difficult roads, including both sides of Independence Pass. The race will return to Aspen for the overall start, and for the first time, there will be a mountaintop finish — Stage 3 atop Monarch Mountain.

2014 Pro Cycling Route

• Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 18, Aspen/Snowmass
• Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 19, Aspen/Crested Butte
• Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 20, Gunnison/Monarch Mountain
• Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 21, Colorado Springs
• Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 22, Woodland Park/Breckenridge
• Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 23, Vail
• Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 24, Boulder/Denver

Past USA Pro Cycling Challenges

The 2013 race included some of the top talent in the sport and took riders through the Colorado Rockies across seven days and nearly 600 miles from Aspen to Denver and once again featured American professional cycling's highest elevation: 12,095-foot Independence Pass near Aspen. Sixteen world-class professional cycling teams from eight countries participated in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, including Sky Procycling and 2013 first-place finisher Chris Froome. American Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing was the overall chamption. See final standings >>

Fans had two new ways to become a part of the USA Pro Challenge, as the professional cycling stage race continues to grow with the introduction of the Pro Challenge Experience presented by UnitedHealthcare in mass-participation bike ride Fort Collins on Sunday, Aug. 11, and the 9K Sprint Challenge run in downtown Denver on Sunday, Aug. 25.

2012’s seven-stage race was a 680-mile Rockies rally with more mountain passes to tackle than any race of its kind — including three trips above 12,000 feet. For spectators, it was a seven-day parade of tracking the competition, cycling celebration and fun local events. Through 12 cities from Durango to Denver (see the race route here), fans clanked cowbells, high-fived that guy dressed like a banana, watched the racers whiz by and partook in the host cities’ race festivals and natural beauty. The sixth stage finished atop Boulder’s see-forever Flagstaff Mountain and was be followed by an individual time trial through downtown Denver (with plenty of great vantage points for fans). 

In the race's first year (2011), nearly 1 million people came out to see the race at some stage — that this was the inaugural event speaks to how amped Coloradans are about having such a high-profile cycling event in their state. Called the most challenging race on American soil, the inaugural USA Pro Challenge brought out the likes of Tour de France podium winners Cadel Evans, Andy Schleck and Frank Schleck — though the 2011 win went to Team RadioShack’s Levi Leipheimer and 2012 went to Team Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda Christian Vande Velde.

USA Pro Challenge cyclists climb Independence Pass near Aspen
USA Pro Challenge cyclists climb Independence Pass near Aspen
Courtesy of Aspen Chamber Resort Association/Jeremy Swanson
USA Pro Challenge cyclists ride through downtown Aspen
USA Pro Challenge through downtown Aspen
Courtesy Aspen Chamber Resort Association/Jeremy Swanson
USA Pro Challenge peloton passes Blue Mesa Reservior in 2012
USA Pro Challenge peloton passes Blue Mesa Reservior in 2012
Copyright Getty/Doug Pensinger
2012 USA Pro Challenge rider Tyler Ferrar wins state 1 in Telluride
2012 USA Pro Challenge rider Tyler Ferrar wins state 1 in Telluride
Photo copyright John Pierce/ProSport International
The peloton takes on a mountain climb during the 2011 USA Pro Challenge in Colorado
A mountain climb during the 2011 USA Pro Challenge in Colorado
Courtesy of USA Pro Challenge

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