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Breckenridge: Local USA Pro Cycling Challenge organizers host community info meeting for this year’s race

Forest Service details camping rules for Independence Pass spectators

The highest elevations of Independence Pass will be closed to camping, but the U.S. Forest Service will allow roadside camping in other areas along the road for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Olympics are winding down,but local sports enthusiasts are gearing up for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which returns to Breckenridge for the second year with an Aug. 24 stage start that will see riders heading up over Hoosier Pass and down the Front Range of the Rockies to Colorado Springs.

The local organizing committee for the race is hosting an Aug. 15 informational meeting to give detailed information on community impacts, including road closures, parking, transportation and a detailed event schedule. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Breckenridge Town Hall, 150 Ski Hill Road. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Meanwhile, fans hoping to get a close look at the racers as they traverse Independence Pass won’t be able to camp at the top of the pass like last year. U.S. Forest Service rangers say that last year’s crowd was rough on the fragile tundra in the area, leaving behind piles of human waste. As a result, they closed the area to campers for this year’s race, to the dismay of some fans who said the area was well policed and cleaned up after last year’s race. Continue reading

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Poster for Breck stage of 2012 cycling race unveiled

The official poster for the Breckenridge stage of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, designed by Nikki Arcieri.

Local artist Nikki Arcieri makes it two in row

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Racers in the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will face a big climb to start the day when they leave Breckenridge for the start of Stage 5 this summer. They’ll climb to 11,542 feet at Hoosier Pass before accelerating down into South Park, and local artist Nikki Arcieri captured the feeling of the pass in her design for the official Breckenridge stage race poster.

Arcieri won the friendly design competition for the second year in a row, this year with bold colors depicting  a cyclist against the backdrop of the alpine peaks surrounding Hoosier Pass.

The race rolls through Colorado Aug. 20-26 with the Stage 5 Start in Breckenridge, Colo. on Friday, Aug. 24, heading for a finish in Colorado Springs. Continue reading

2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Climb every mountain …

Route features double-climb of Indepedence Pass, final-day time trial

The exact route of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge has been released.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The  2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will cover some of Colorado’s most spectacular high country, with the first stage from Durango to Telluride featuring a climb of Lizard Head Pass, along with a double ascent of Independence Pass later in the race.

The Aug. 24 Summit County stage begins in Breckenridge with a steep climb of Hoosier Pass to start the day, followed by a dash across the high plains of South Park, where sprinters and and break-away specialists will duel for the stage leadership, a sprint line in Woodland Park and high-speed descent into Colorado Springs.

All in all, racers will have to climb to 12,000 feet three times during the race before ending with an Aug. 26 downtown Denver time trial. Continue reading

USA Pro Cycling: Ride with the pros!

Racers roll through Silverthorne during the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. PHOTO BY KIM FENSKE.

Unique program will let up to 24 amateur cyclists ride the course just ahead of the racers during 2012 race across Colorado

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Up to 24 cycling enthusiasts will have a chance to experience the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge from the vantage point of a racer, sleeping and eating with the pro teams, and riding the course day-by-day, just ahead of the field, with retired professional racer Chris Carmichael leading the team of amateurs through the Race Experience.

“With the altitude and the length of the climbs in Colorado, this promises to be the hardest Race Experience to date,” Carmichael said. “The USA Pro Cycling Challenge has been instrumental in helping us create a truly unique experience for devoted amateur cyclists. It’s an insider’s view of what it’s like to live and work as a professional cyclist.”

“People looking at the next bigger thing,” said Jim Rutberg, of CTS. “In this, there’s the risk of failure … there’s a significant chance you won’t make it to finish line, “It’s highly motivating,” Rutberg said. Continue reading

Leipheimer wins inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Pro racers streak through Silverthorne, Colorado during Stage 5 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. PHOTO BY KIM FENSKE.

Race organizers say the overwhelming turnout means the event will likely return next year

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The inaugural USA  Pro Cycling Challenge ended Sunday with a rousing sprint after six laps around the Capitol — and with American racer Levi Leipheimer being crowned as the first-ever champion of a race that was wildly popular with spectators around Colorado.

The seven-day stage race featured the world’s best racers and traversed some of the highest terrain of any pro cycling event, including two 12,000-foot passes.

Italian Daniel Oss of Liquigas-Cannondale outsprinted teammate Elia Viviani and took the final stage after an exciting battle for the lead on the route from Golden to Denver, where race organizers said up to 250,000 fans lined the course. Continue reading

USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Viviani sprints to Stage 4 win

Steamboat to Breckenridge via Rabbit Ears Pass next on tap

Some peleton action in this file image from PhotoSport International.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —European racers led the peleton into Steamboat Springs during Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, with Italian racer Elia Viviani, riding for the Liquigas Cannondale team, taking first, followed by Denmark’s Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank SunGard) and the Netherland’s Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) taking third.

Viviani also holds the Smashburger Sprint jersey, while Levi Leipheimer held on to the overall leader’s jersey. Continue reading

Colorado: Pro cycling race gets $10 million boost

Final mountain stage of Quiznos Pro Challenge to finish on Main Street, Breckenridge; local organizers gearing up for all-out volunteer effort

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Quiznos Pro Challenge cycling race got a big financial boost last week, as co-chairman Rick Schaden announced the investment of an initial $10 million to support the growth of Colorado’s international pro-cycling competition.

The seven-day, 600 mile race (Aug. 22 – 28) features a Tour de France-level field of cyclists that will sprint to a finish on Main Street in Breckenridge in the final mountain stage of a race that will be the biggest cycling event in the state since the glory days of the Coors Classic.

“This investment further demonstrates our commitment to the future of the Quiznos Pro Challenge,” said Schaden.  “Showing financial stability demonstrates the event’s ability for longevity in the international sports arena for many years to come.” Continue reading

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