Back in November, the cities that will be hosting start/finish lines were announced. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge released the 2014 race routes. The 2014 route will be challenging for riders- with descents and mountaintop finishes. On August 18th, the riders will start their 550 mile race across the state of Colorado, ending on August 24th in Denver. According to the owner of the USA Pro Challenge, Rick Schaden, "The 2014 route will be a challenge for the riders and will provide plenty of great viewing opportunities for the spectators. This year is looking like it will be the best yet."
Breckenridge is among the towns along the USA Pro Cycling Challenge route. At each start city, spectators will be able to see the professional riders up close, with the circuit loop through town before the riders leave. The only exception will be the time trails in Vail.
Stage 1 - Stage 1 starts of the same as last – the Aspen/Snowmass Circuit. It is considered a short ride-only 65 miles- but each lap will have riders climbing 2,300 feet per lap. There is not much recovery time available. Riders will make the grueling ride up to Snowmass Village and then have a quick descent with a couple short, steep climbs, then loop through downtown before repeating.
Stage 2 –Kebler Pass, a part of Colorado cycling history, will be included in the USA Pro Challenge route. Riders will head down from Aspen through Basalt and Carbondale, and then they will tackle the 8,700 ft. McClure Pass. Then they will face a rollercoaster of dirt and pavement as they race along Gunnison County Rd 12. Lying at the end of the road, they will top out at 9,900 ft. over Kebler Pass, descend into Creste Butte. The finish will include the steep climb up to Mt. Crested Butte.
Stage 3 – Stage 3 will start in Gunnison and will head east for 35 miles before tackling Monarch Pass at 11,300 ft, challenging the USA Pro Cycling Challenge riders with climbing to high elevation. Then the descent is on before beginning the two 9-miles loops through Salida and the countryside. After catching their breathe and taking in a scenic ride, riders will make the grueling climb almost 20 miles to finish at 10,800 ft- the Monarch Mountain Ski Area.
Stage 4 – Stage 4 will be a 16 mile circuit that will be raced four times. It will start at the world famous Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and will head into town. Riders will enjoy the views through Garden of the Gods, Ridge Road.
Stage 5 – Nothing was left out when planning the routes and Stage 5 will be no exception. The race will start in a new host city, Woodland Park, where riders will ride the first 80 miles through the serene setting through Pike National Forest- until they hit Fairplay. Then what lies ahead is the grind of Hoosier Pass-up 11,500 ft, the highest altitude reached in the race. It will be a fast descent into Breckenridge, where they will finish with a small climb up Moonstone Road.
Stage 6 – The individual time trails will start climbing up most of Vail Pass. The last three miles of the course will give way to a steady climb.
Stage 7 – Back to familiar terrain, Stage 7 on the 2014 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will remain similar to years past. The riders will depart Boulder on CO 93, heading to Golden. Through the town of Golden, the riders will tackle a 4 miles climb up Lookout Mountain, and then pass through town again before heading through Denver's suburbs en route to downtown Denver. Past races have witnessed some incredible sprinting on Broadway in the heart of Denver, and for 2014, there should be no exception.
Click here to find out more about the race: www.usaprocyclingchallenge.comPosted by Andrew Biggin on