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  • New USA Pro Cycling Challenge Route Starts In Aspen; Time Trial Leaves Denver

    Cyclists will traverse Independence Pass before finishing the race in Denver

    This year's USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado “will feature a new route from Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek,” according to John Henderson of the DENVER POST. The race will “begin in Aspen for the first time," and will feature “three 22-mile laps, including 9,240 feet of climbing during the day.” The USA Pro Cycling Challenge for the third year “will go up Independence Pass, the highest climb in North American cycling at 12,096 feet.” The race's time trial stage “leaves Denver for the traditional host of Vail.” Denver will then “host the final stage” instead of the time trial. USA Pro Cycling Challenge CEO Shawn Hunter said that it “wasn't complaints from fans that caused race officials to move the time trial from Denver to Vail.” Hunter: "Not complaints. Just more desire. The newcomers to the sport, the fringe fan, they like seeing those guys coming through at 40 mph” (DENVER POST, 4/26). In Vail, Randy Wyrick reports the start and finish lines of “most USA Pro Challenge stages are above the highest points in the Tour de France,” as Loveland and Fort Collins “host new stages this year” (VAIL DAILY, 4/26). In Fort Collins, David Young notes the city's route in the event marks the “first time the race has ventured this far north.” Organizing committee spokesperson Eric Thompson said that organizers “expect tens of thousands of visitors to line up at the finish for what he described as a festival-like atmosphere.” The race is expected to be “one of the largest events ever to come to Fort Collins” (COLORADOAN.com, 4/26). In Aspen, Janet Urquhart writes the city hosting the "overall start to the weeklong race is significant -- not just for the attention it will bring to the resort but from an economic standpoint" (ASPEN TIMES, 4/26).

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