Skip to content

Ride like a professional at the 2012 UPCC

January 17, 2012

Levi Leipheimer at the 2011 Tour of Utah (photo by Mary Topping)

Today the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (UPCC) announced an opportunity to experience the race in a manner similar to the riders on the invited teams. It’s called the Carmichael Training Systems’ (CTS) USA Pro Cycling Challenge Race Experience.

According to the press release, amateurs can apply for a slot on a “team” and ride the course together before the real competitors roll across the same road. It sounds similar to a team time trial; if the amateur team doesn’t pedal fast enough and the peloton bears down on it, the team will be pulled off the road. The announcement doesn’t indicate how many riders will constitute a team.

If selected, the amateur applicant can participate if she or he pays the sum of $10,500. Gulp.

The obvious question follows: how many serious amateur cyclists can afford that kind of entry fee? Enough, because CTS runs a similar event during the Amgen Tour of California for $11,500 and according to the CTS website, it is sold out.

Affording strong cyclists the opportunity to ride past the same fans that will cheer on the peloton is fantastic. Their presence on the course will require additional coordination to ensure their safety and the safety of the riders on the invited teams, so the number that can participate must be limited.

One question remains. Will there be any scholarships for amateurs who would love to test their endurance and skills against professional cyclists but already stretch the patience of significant others and the household budget to pay for travel, racing fees, and equipment?

The press release follows below.


Fans of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will have the opportunity to experience the race like the pros through the Carmichael Training Systems’ (CTS) USA Pro Cycling Challenge Race Experience. Through an exclusive partnership between CTS and the USA Pro Challenge, a privileged few amateur riders will be selected for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride every stage of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge  as a team, just hours before the professionals. These lucky amateurs will eat, sleep and live like professional cyclists for all seven days of the race, August 20-26, 2012. Retired professional cyclist and CTS Founder Chris Carmichael will be leading the selection process and riding with the team during the event.

Participants of the CTS USA Pro Challenge Race Experience will work together as a cohesive unit, borrowing tactics and strategies from the pros. In a serious point-to-point effort, the riders will have to push themselves to stay ahead of the fast-approaching pro peloton.

“With the altitude and the length of the climbs in Colorado, this promises to be the hardest Race Experience to date,” commented Carmichael. “The USA Pro Cycling Challenge has been instrumental in helping us create a truly unique experience for devoted amateur cyclists. It’s an insider’s view of what it’s like to live and work as a professional cyclist.”

“We were so impressed by the number of people that came out to watch the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge that we wanted to create even more experiences for our devoted fans in 2012,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. “The CTS USA Pro Challenge Race Experience gives amateur cyclists the unique opportunity to see first-hand what the professional riders go through for their love of the sport.”

Included with the CTS USA Pro Challenge Race Experience is access to the VIP tent in each finish city, accommodations, meals, amenities and post-race massages, just like the pros. The cost of this exclusive race experience is $10,500 and applications are currently being accepted from riders who believe they can successfully complete this challenge. Interested athletes can visit to apply for the CTS USA Pro Challenge Race Experience team. There is no cost to apply, but riders must be at least 18 years old to participate, and applications must be completed by Feb. 29, 2012. For information on this and other official USA Pro Cycling Challenge travel packages, visit

About the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure – more than two miles in elevation. One of the largest cycling events in United States history, the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will feature the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery.

Referred to as “America’s Race,” the second annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge will take place August 20-26, 2012, a week proclaimed by Governor John Hickenlooper as “Colorado Cycling Holiday”, and travel through 12 host cities from Durango to Denver. More than 1 million spectators are expected to once again line the route to see if Levi Leipheimer will defend his title as reigning champion, while millions more around the world watch the race live on television and online through the Tour Tracker.

More information can be found online at and on Twitter at @USAProChallenge.

About CTS

Founded by Olympian, US Olympic Committee Coach of the Year, and bestselling author, Chris Carmichael in 2000, Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) inspires and empowers the athlete in EVERY BODY to perform at their best. The company offers personal coaching, training camps, and performance testing services to athletes of all ability levels. CTS is the Official Coaching Partner of Ironman and Ironman 70.3. For more information on CTS, visit

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge Race Experience is one event in “Chris Carmichael’s Epic Endurance Bucket List” ( Other events on the list include the Leadville 100 and the La Ruta de los Conquistadores. These epic events target the adventurous endurance athlete and feature various packages of CTS coaching, camps and race support. “There’s a hunger out there for big challenges,” commented Carmichael. “The demand is there as well. Over the past two years we’ve filled every one of the Epic Endurance Bucket List packages in days.”

One Comment
  1. Donald permalink

    Can I go…Ha Ha Ha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: