Stage 5, from Breck to Colorado Springs, scheduled for Aug. 25
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will traverse Colorado starting in the spectacular San Juans with an Aug. 20 stage from Durango to Telluride and conclude once again with a final time trial stage in Denver — but not before once again stopping in Breckenridge.
The fifth stage of the race will start Aug. 24 in Breckenridge as the racers head over the Continental Divide to a finish in Colorado Springs.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in 2012,” said Breckenridge Mayor John Warner. “Breckenridge played a prominent role in the inaugural 2011 race and the excitement and energy generated by the event is something we want to continue to build upon.”
Race organizers said more than 1 million spectators watched the event in its inaugural year.
“I don’t think a lot of people realized how bit it was going to be,” said Mike Schilling, co-chair of the local organizing committee. The 2012 event is likely to grow even more based on the momentum from this year’s race,” he added.
Schilling said hosting the start of the stage will be quite different from last year’s finish, with more access to the racers before they start the day’s race. Typically, the racing teams set up an “autograph row,” at the start of a race, he explained.
The previous stage ends in Beaver Creek, and the racers will then arrive in Breck in team vehicles to prepare for the start of the stage. Though it’s very early in the planning stages, local organizers will probably once set up bike-related events for the day.
No details have been given on routes, but the likely path would take riders over Hoosier Pass, through South Park along Highway 285 and then east on Highway 24 — but that’s pure speculation at this point.
“The host cities selected for the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will enable us to showcase the beauty and hospitality of Colorado to a worldwide audience,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “These cities are valued partners who will work with us, hand in hand, as we continue to raise the bar for professional cycling here in America.”
The host cities and stages of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge include:
- Monday, Aug. 20 Stage 1 Durango – Telluride
- Tuesday, Aug. 21 Stage 2 Montrose – Crested Butte
- Wed. Aug. 22 Stage 3 Gunnison – Aspen
- Thursday, Aug. 23 Stage 4 Aspen – Beaver Creek/Vail Valley
- Friday, Aug. 24 Stage 5 Breckenridge – Colorado Springs
- Saturday, Aug. 25 Stage 6 Golden – Boulder
- Sunday, Aug. 26 Stage 7/TT Denver
A number of criteria were taken into consideration when evaluating potential host cities, including full city services support. The race also considered commitments in the areas of lodging, volunteer recruitment, marketing and local tourism, as well as an ability to host world-class athletes and promote the State of Colorado.
Further details of the start and finish line locations, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.