USA Pro Cycling Challenge Recap
Submitted by kevin on Thu, 09/05/2013 - 1:31pmThe USA Pro Cycling Challenge has come and gone for the 3rd straight year and has again proven to be one of the elite bike races in the world. Traveling through the historic mining and ski towns of Colorado, the Challenge lasted seven days forcing racers to ride a total of 598.7 miles. This race is truly a site to see, so if you are visiting Colorado next August make sure to check it out!
Starting in Aspen, the racers had to circuit a 22-mile lap three times for a total of 66 miles and a 3,080 ft. elevation gain per lap! This circuit forced the riders to jump right into the competition without holding anything back.
The second stage took riders from Aspen to Breckenridge which covered a total of 126 miles with the highlight taking riders over historic Independence Pass. At an elevation of 12,095 ft., Independence Pass is the highest point reached in any professional cycling race in the world. The riders then had multiple small climbs and descents upon their arrival into Breckenridge. Breckenridge also played host to the start of stage three, making it one of two cities to host a start and a finish in the Challenge; the other city being Steamboat Springs. Stage three took riders from Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs on a 106 mile ride that ascended over famous Rabbit Ears Pass.
Stage four traveled from Steamboat to Beaver Creek, and like every other stage of this Tour, there was one eye opening pass that everyone was holding their breath for. During stage 4 this stage was Bachelors Gulch which had some of the steepest terrain on the course.
Stage five was a time trial from Vail to the top of Vail Pass where racers were riding at unbelievable speeds during the climb. Tejay Van Garderen won his second straight stage during this time trial contributing to his overall victory.
Stage six was another long haul, traveling a distance of 114 miles from Loveland to Fort Collins. Peter Sagan took home his third stage victory during this stage.
Finally, stage seven ended in the most populated Colorado city; Denver. This stage was similar to the beginning of the Tour and made riders take a 9 mile loop a total of 8 times. In the end it was Tejay Van Garderen who took home the yellow jersey and became tour champion after finishing second in 2012.