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2013 USA Pro Challenge in the news: who’s racing and route rumors

March 20, 2013
2012 USA Pro Challenge final podium champagne frenzy: Tejay van Garderen 2nd, Christian Vande Velde 1st, Levi Leipheimer 3rd (l to r)

2012 USA Pro Challenge final podium champagne frenzy: Tejay van Garderen 2nd, Christian Vande Velde 1st, Levi Leipheimer 3rd (l to r)

[updated 3/21/2013]

Just 152 days remain until the first day of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, erroneously referred to as the Tour of Colorado. This is the first of a series of regular updates on stories related to the seven-day stage race that have appeared in the media.

Who’s racing?

Teams haven’t been announced yet, but riders have stated they’re looking forward to or hoping to participate in the 600 or more mile (966 km) contest around central and northern Colorado.

Names include last year’s champion Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), Tejay van Garderen and Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing Team, and several Team Sky riders: Danny Pate, Ian Boswell, and Joe Dombrowski. In fact, Velonews reported in a January story that a Sky spokesperson said the team is “very likely” racing in the USA Pro Challenge this year. The race appears on Team Sky’s calendar on its website.

Route rumors

Just like the list of invited teams, a detailed route between the host cities is yet to be announced by the race.

August 19 Stage 1: Aspen/Snowmass circuit
August 20 Stage 2: Aspen/Snowmass to Breckenridge
August 21 Stage 3: Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs
August 22 Stage 4: Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek
August 23 Stage 5: Vail Time Trial (ITT)
August 24 Stage 6: Loveland to Fort Collins
August 25 Stage 7: Denver circuit

However local media have reported expected course information for two stages, the Stage 1 circuit race and the Loveland to Fort Collins journey. Both should be viewed as preliminary until the race releases the course.

The Stage 1 circuit is a 22 mile (35 km) loop between Aspen and Snowmass Village that the riders will circle three times. A story in The Aspen Times outlined a lap that starts on Main Street in Aspen and heads up Maroon Creek Road to Tiehack Road. It runs on Highway 82 then up Owl Creek Road to Snowmass Village. After winding through the village it returns to and crosses Highway 82 before continuing back into Aspen, finally through the West End and back onto Main Street.

This circuit takes the riders up, down, and back up again. A simulated loop on MapMyRide indicates two category 3 climbs as defined by that software and 1,309 feet (399 meters) elevation gain.

The Aspen Times has also reported that Snowmass will host the athlete start village.

According to the Estes Park Trail Gazette, Stage 6 which begins in Loveland, “will proceed from The Ranch, to 34, to Drake, to Glen Haven, then to Devils’ Gulch and Wonderview, through the center of Estes Park, down Elkhorn, to Marys Lake, down Highway 7 to 34/36, then down the canyon to Masonville, by Horsetooth Dam and Bingham Hills and into Fort Collins.”

Race takes

For two different opinions about the 2013 course, consult Outside online and the Boulder Report.

[with gratitude to Sean Weide for the Tour of Colorado link and heads-up]

  1. Terri Thater permalink

    The USA Pro Challenge and the Tour of Colorado aren’t the same. But don’t change it. Andy Bohlmann will just send you a cease-and-desist letter, like he did to VeloNews a few years back.

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