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UPCC News Update, 11/28/11 – Potential Route

November 28, 2011

[updated 11/28/11 9:40 p.m.]

At least two articles have mentioned a leaked USA Pro Cycling Challenge (UPCC) route for 2012. It’s possible to make some route predictions based on the rumored host cities. The cities included:

  • Durango
  • Telluride
  • Ouray
  • Mount Crested Butte
  • Gunnison
  • Aspen
  • Beaver Creek
  • Breckenridge
  • Colorado Springs
  • Lakewood
  • Boulder

One possible 2012 UPCC route

This potential route begins in the southwestern part of Colorado and makes its way northeast for a final stage on the front range. It includes an uphill finish on the next to last day of the race, which is scheduled to run from August 20th to August 26th. The route lacks a “true” uphill finish; the one included falls a bit short in distance as it lasts just three and one half miles with an average grade of 6%.

The absence of a longer uphill finish, together with armchair mapping sans scouting and too many long stages are just three reasons why this route is suggestive and not an ideal candidate. But it’s a start at developing some potential route scenarios.

Day 1: Prologue in Durango, on the road up to Fort Lewis College. 3 miles with 400 feet elevation gain makes this more challenging than the 2011 prologue. MapMyRide route for Day 1.

Day 2: Durango to Telluride, via Lizard Head Pass. 113 miles, easy climbs with no grades over 4.1% for a sprinter’s finish. MapMyRide route for Day 2.

Possible Durango to Telluride route for 2012 UPCC (MapMyRide)

Day 3: Ouray to Mount Crested Butte, via Montrose. 132 miles, easy climbs but short uphill finish which was part of the 2011 route is likely a GC contender finish. MapMyRide route for Day 3.

Possible route from Ouray to Mt. Crested Butte for 2012 UPCC (MapMyRide)

Day 4: Gunnison to Aspen, via Monarch and Independence Passes. 147 miles with Indy Pass near the end will wear out much of the peloton and create a select finish with GC contenders and possibly strong climbers like the 2011 finish in Aspen. MapMyRide route for Day 4.

Day 5: Vail or Beaver Creek time trial.

Day 6: Breckenridge to Colorado Springs, via Deckers, with uphill finish on Cheyenne Canon Road. 140 miles brings the peloton to lower elevation, with a 3.5 mile climb for a likely GC finish. MapMyRide route for Day 6.

Day 7: Lakewood to Boulder. So many options exist for a leg of the race between these two cities. One possible route would wind up the backside of Lookout Mountain and through Golden to Boulder. A distance of 70 miles allows a finish at approximately 2 p.m. The big question: how to include the Flagstaff climb with a finish line in downtown Boulder? Could the finish line land on Flagstaff?

Total estimated distance for this route is 615 miles. What changes could improve this route?

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