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UPCC news round-up for 1/20/2012

January 23, 2012
View from Ophir near Lizard Head Pass, Lizard Head formation at left (photo by Mary Topping)

View from Ophir near Lizard Head Pass, Lizard Head formation at left (photo by Mary Topping)

[updated 3/20/2013]

A few noteworthy items surfaced in news about the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (UPCC) in the last two weeks. Which one matters most to you?

A shorter nickname

Channel 9 News published take-aways from visiting with the local organizing committee leads and race organizers during their planning session on January 18th. Among those takeways: a race nickname. 9 News wrote, “The USA Pro Cycling Challenge also adopted a nickname this year, shortened to USA Pro Challenge.”

Lizard Head Pass or the more challenging Million Dollar Highway for Stage 1?

Trout Lake, near Lizard Head Pass (photo by Mary Topping)

In December a Denver Post article postulated that racers would travel from Durango to Telluride via Lizard Head Pass; this route would likely pass through Mancos, up Highway 184 to Dolores, and then continue to Telluride. A different, longer option traverses Coal Bank and Molas Passes then winds along the Million Dollar Highway past Red Mountain.

A former pro-cyclist now living in Delores believes the Lizard Head Pass route is the logical choice. Michael Engleman told the Cortez Journal, “Those bikers can certainly handle it (the Durango-Silverton route to Telluride) but I doubt they will start a seven-stage race with something that difficult.”

Great times on Indy Pass as women’s race adds stage

The Aspen/Snowmass Women’s Pro Challenge race is growing. In 2012 the best female cyclists will compete over four days from August 20th to 23rd for an increased first place prize of $25,000 in the event which now resides on USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar. Organizers expect a larger field of about eighty women this year; that would double the first year’s rider count. The 2012 route includes a climb from Aspen to finish on top of Independence Pass on the same day (August 23) the men summit that pass and continue to Beaver Creek.

According to the Aspen Daily News, Specialized-Lululemon and Exergy Twenty12 teams have told the race founder, Jessica Phillips, that they would like to attend the event.

Last year the Aspen/Snowmass Women’s Pro Challenge ran three days; the last day coincided with the finish of the men’s UPCC in downtown Aspen. Kristen Armstrong on Peanut Butter & Co. won the overall title. Anne Samplonius (Now Cycling/Now), Kristin McGrath (Peanut Butter & Co.), Janel Holcomb (Colavita / Forno), and Amanda Miller (HTC Colombia) secured second through fifth places.

Marmot in Ophir, near Telluride (photo by Mary Topping)

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