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USA Pro Challenge team presentation a calm before the Colorado storm

August 18, 2014
Jens Voigt supporters will line the Colorado roads to celebrate the German's last race of his career

Jens Voigt supporters will line the Colorado roads to celebrate the German’s last race of his career

There’s something about a red carpet that makes people feel special. Or maybe it was the five year-old boy who wore a Garmin-Sharp jersey that fell to his knees and waylaid them with a sharpie held high.

Either way, the riders on the 16 teams in this year’s USA Pro Challenge smiled as they processed along the red carpet through a cheering crowd brandishing cameras at the team presentation. Children and adults held up their palms and guys from superstar level to neo-pro greeted them with low and high-fives.

For that one fine Saturday evening in Snowmass, Colorado while the sun dipped behind the ski slopes, the athletes could suspend all thoughts of 550 miles of Rocky Mountain suffering on the horizon and soak up the love.

The seven-day Colorado race begins today with the Stage 1 circuit around Aspen. It continues to a sharp uphill conclusion at Crested Butte, offers a new summit finish on Monarch Mountain in Stage 3, and then visits Breckenridge followed by the red rock of Colorado Springs’ Garden of the Gods in the shadow of Pike’s Peak. Saturday’s uphill time trial in Vail, Colorado will help determine who stands on the podium in Denver on Sunday, August 24.

It’s Jens Voigt’s final race of his career – or so the Trek Factory Racing man says, which means lots of attacks will be in order as well as a special celebration on the final day.

The BMC Racing team will have its hands full trying to defend Tejay van Garderen‘s 2013 overall win against the likes of Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp), Rafał Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), Leopold Konig (Team NetApp-Endura), and others.

Follow along with the TourTracker or live television coverage or a live feed on cyclingfans.com where there’s a link to the start list.

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