The USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which takes place in Colorado on 22-28 August 2011, has announced the specifics of the route that 128 of the world’s best professional cyclists will take when they compete for seven days in this event’s inaugural year.
From climbing two 12,000-foot mountain passes in one day, to sprint lines in some of the most scenic locations on earth, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge promises to be one of the most challenging races in America.
Beginning with an extraordinarily fast Prologue time trial in Colorado Springs, the race moves to the Queen Stage between Gunnison and Aspen where athletes will test their endurance and altitude adjustment when they have to climb both Independence Pass and Cottonwood Pass in one day.
In the final stage drama over Lookout Mountain and into downtown Denver, cyclists will be tested like never before, and spectators will have ample opportunity to view what they love most about professional cycling races.
“The Tour de France has Col du Galibier which crests at 8,600 feet, the Giro d’Italia has Passo Giau which crests at 7,300 feet, but the USA Pro Cycling Challenge has Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass both cresting at 12,000 feet. What’s really remarkable is that the athletes will ride both these passes in one stage,” said Shawn Hunter, co-chairman of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
“There is no better place in the world for athletes to test their endurance and pure athleticism than Colorado, and there is no better place to watch a professional cycling race than in the Colorado Rockies.”
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is expected to be the largest spectator event in Colorado history and one of the largest sporting events to ever take place in the United States. For seven consecutive days this August, 128 of the world’s top athletes will race across more than 500 miles through the Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure, more than two miles in elevation.
Spectators of this race will see Olympians, World Champions and Tour de France competitors. Fans worldwide will have access to the competition and riders like never before with an advanced, interactive online, smartphone and broadcast television experience. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is expected to be one of the biggest and best races worldwide; and is billed as America’s answer to the Tour de France.
Prologue: Colorado Springs – August 22
Stage 1: Salida to Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte – August 23
Stage 2: Gunnison to Aspen – August 24
Stage 3: Vail Time Trial – August 25
Stage 4: Avon to Steamboat Springs – August 26
Stage 5: Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge – August 27
Stage 6: Golden to Denver – August 28
The announcement of the race route comes just weeks before a new website is launched, packed with details of who to watch each day, insider information on the expected strategies of the cyclists, exact locations of King of the Mountain lines and sprint lines, and suggested spots for viewing the best action.
“This course is exceptionally designed to appeal to all cyclists,” said Jim Birrell of Medalist Sports, the producer of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and other professional cycling events. “We’ll have incredible climbs and many unique opportunities for sprinters to show what they’re worth. But no other race in the world puts riders through the challenges and drama of constant altitude for seven days.”