SBD/November 5, 2013/Events and Attractions

USA Pro Challenge To Have True Mountaintop Stage Finish In '14 Event

September flooding forced Northern Colorado to skip a bid for the '14 event
The '14 USA Pro Challenge "will have a true mountaintop stage finish for the first time in the history of the race," as Stage 3 finishes atop Monarch Mountain, according to Stephen Meyers of the COLORADOAN. Many American riders and fans have "long sought a true mountaintop finish" for the Aug. 18-24 race. The seven-stage race "again starts in Aspen, with a circuit race, like this year’s edition." Stage 2 is "from Aspen to Crested Butte," while Colorado Springs "hosts a circuit race in Stage 4." Woodland Park "makes its debut as a host city in Stage 5, with cyclists riding to Breckenridge," while Vail "hosts the classic individual time trial in Stage 6." In a "first for the race, fans will be able to vote on several route possibilities for the race’s final stage at" (COLORADOAN, 11/5). USA Pro Challenge CEO & Chair Shawn Hunter said that the event "historically puts out a request to all interested cities across the state." As many as 30 cities in years past "have put in applications to host either a start or finish stage." But he said that this year, because the event "stays in close contact with cities on a year-round basis, organizers sat down directly with cities that had expressed interest in 2014 and were a good match for the potential routes." Hunter said, “The process saved us time and money. We were able to get to a 2014 host city roster 45 days sooner than in years past. I feel like this is the best lineup of cities in the race’s history.” Hunter said that the "majority of investment comes from the race itself; they spend" about $10M every year to produce the event. Hunter said that the Pro Challenge "recoups a lot of that money through sponsorships." The event "assists with finding local sponsors and fundraising to help recover out-of-pocket expenses" (SUMMIT DAILY NEWS, 11/5).

FORCED OUT: In Colorado, Craig Young reported flooding in September has "forced Northern Colorado to skip a bid for next year's USA Pro Cycling Challenge." Local organizing committee Chair Bob Herrfeldt said, "We were pretty set on putting another bid in. But the month of September was pretty rough." Herrfeldt said that with "so much energy going into flood recovery, the local organizers didn't believe they could justify the amount of time and money it would take to put together a bid, which is due in early November" (Loveland REPORTER-HERALD, 11/1).
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