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Breckenridge to host start & finish of 2013 USA Pro Challenge

Popular bike race also features a Lovelend to Fort Collins stage

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2012 USA Pro Challenge riders on a warmup lap in Breckenridge. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The USA Pro Challenge will be back in Summit County for the third year in a row,with Breckenridge hosting both the finish of Stage 2 (Aug. 20), with riders rolling into town after climbing and descending Independence Pass, and the start of Stage 3 (Aug. 21), as the race heads to Steamboat Springs.

The 2013 edition of the popular race gets under way Aug. 19 in Aspen with a circuit stage and finishes Aug. 25 with another circuit race in Denver. The rest of the stages:

  • Monday, Aug. 19    Stage 1   Aspen/Snowmass Circuit
  • Tuesday, Aug. 20   Stage 2   Aspen/Snowmass – Breckenridge
  • Wednesday, Aug. 21   Stage 3   Breckenridge – Steamboat Springs
  • Thursday, Aug. 22   Stage 4   Steamboat Springs – Beaver Creek
  • Friday, Aug. 23   Stage 5/ITT   Vail Time Trial
  • Saturday, Aug. 24   Stage 6   Loveland – Fort Collins
  • Sunday, Aug. 25   Stage 7   Denver Circuit

“Riders now know that there is no race in America like the USA Pro Challenge, and these host cities help ensure cycling’s world stage returns to Colorado for seven days of grueling competition,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO and co-chairman of the USA Pro Challenge. “Each of these communities will be on an international stage as we partner with them to ensure the USA Pro Challenge takes its place as America’s greatest race.”

“When you combine the high-altitude climbs, the enthusiasm of the crowds and the level of competition, the USA Pro Challenge is one of my favorite race weeks,” said Christian Vandevelde, the overall winner of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge. “I can’t wait to get back in 2013 and defend the title with my Garmin-Sharp teammates.”

The two new cities joining the 2013 race – Fort Collins and Loveland – offer breathtaking scenery, as well as a unique cycling history, that will add to the overall impact of the race.

“With the addition of Loveland and Fort Collins we are adding two cities that have built a community around the cycling culture,” Hunter said. “We are thrilled to incorporate their enthusiasm as we continue to showcase Colorado as the center of the nation’s cycling spirit.”

Further details of the start and finish line locations, as well as the specific, detailed route, will be announced in the spring. With its consolidated footprint and multiple back-to-back stages, the 2013 race will ensure that spectators in host cities will have many opportunities to root for their favorite rider or team.

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.

“The USA Pro Challenge has created an entirely new audience for our state,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said. “Not only is it the best American competition, it’s essentially a week-long advertisement for our state with 128 of the best cyclists in the world acting as tour guides.”

More information can be found on the website www.USAProCyclingChallenge.com and Twitter page @USAProChallenge.

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