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Colorado: USA Pro Challenge route announced

7-day stage race set for late August

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Stage 2 of the USA Pro Challenge leads from Aspen over Independence Pass to Breckenridge.

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USA Pro Challenge racers will once again visit Breckenridge as part of the seven-day stage race through Colorado.

By Summit Voice

The 2013 USA Pro Challenge features two new host cities and the return of the popular Vail time trial, race organizers said this week, announcing details of seven-day stage race through Colorado (Aug. 19-25).

“The most important thing to us in creating the route for the 2013 USA Pro Challenge was to find a course that would be safe and challenging for the riders, while providing ideal viewing locations for the crowds of spectators,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge.

The two new cities, Loveland and Fort Collins, will be featured in the penultimate stage of the race on Aug. 24, when contenders will have to make a move before the final time trial stage in Denver. Stage 6 will start on the plains, but aggressive climbers will have a chance to amp it up when the race heads up Big Thompson Canyon and into Devils Gulch before hitting Estes Park. Continue reading

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Environment: Are synthetic fields hazardous to your health?

Do athletes on synthetic turf fields risk exposure to lead and other toxic metals? Hard to know, because many schools don’t want to test their fields. Photo by Bob Berwyn.

New Jersey tests show possible risk of elevated exposure to lead

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Health experts have known for years that potentially toxic heavy metals are present in many synthetic playing fields, either the in fake blades of grass, or in the rubber particles used as infill.

Significant exposure to the metals, including lead, chromium, arsenic and cadmium, can pose health risks, and a recent study done for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection suggests there is a need for widespread testing of synthetic fields to try and calculate how high the exposure levels can be.

With 22 players running up and down a field, “It is highly likely that a significant particulate cloud can be created on the field and may persist in light wind conditions and certainly on indoor fields for significant portions of the game,” according to the study. Continue reading

Colorado: SOS youth prep for London Olympics trip

20 SOS Outreach youngsters are preparing for a trip to the London Summer Olympics.

Next up, a May 12 visit to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London less than three months away, a group of 20 Colorado youngsters will tour the U.S. Olympic Training Center this coming week.

The SOS Outreach participants will get a preview of the premier athleticism and commitment to excellence they will see at the Olympics later this summer. Continue reading

Colorado to explore possible bid for Winter Olympics

Colorado is getting serious about a bid for the Winter Olympics.

New committee to emphasize health, winter resources and the environment as a basis for hosting the games

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Health care professionals, former Olympic athletes, tourism experts and others have formed a new committee to explore the feasibility of making a bid for the Winter Olympics.

According to a press release, the Denver Exploratory Committee will identify the opportunities and challenges of a bid based on facts gathered by many others who have worked on this issue over a long period.

The committee will examine the financial issues, the feasibility and the economic impact of a potential bid and answer questions about such things as protocol, timing, venue requirements and process. Committee members will then present their findings to Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock. Continue reading

Colorado: Cycling season peaks with races, winery tours

Colorado cycling will be showcased with a slew of races and other special events.

Explore the Centennial State on two wheels

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — From townie cruisers to body armored downhillers and sleek road-racers, Colorado is a true Mecca for cyclists, and this summer’s lineup of special events underscores the point.

In August, some of the world’s best road racers will be in the state for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, while top mountain bikers will line up to tackle the Leadville 100 and a marathon-length race up Pikes Peak.

And besides all that, the BMX scene is also growing by leaps and bounds, with the opening of a new track in South Park and another under construction in Frisco.

In short, there’s never been a better time to explore Colorado on two wheels. Here is a partial listing of Colorado cycling adventures for every speed:

•    August 13 – The Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race is among the most challenging mountain bike races in the country, featuring steep climbs and serious descents at elevations in excess of 12,000 feet. Although this year’s mountain bike race is full, thousands will travel to Leadville to watch and cheer on their favorites
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•    August 13 – The Stonewall Century is a challenging road bike ride in southern Colorado that starts and ends in La Veta. Be treated to scenic vistas, friendly volunteers, great feed stations, and steep hills. The route follows Highway 12, a Colorado Scenic Byway known as the “Highway of Legends.” Continue reading

Olympics: PyeongChang to host 2018 Winter Olympic Games

Munich, Germany & Annecy, France were the other finalists in the July 6 vote

The Alpensia winter sports complex near PyeongChang will host the bulk of the 2018 Winter Olympic events. PHOTO COURTESY PYEONGCHANG 2018.

2018 Winter Games go to PyeongChang, South Korea.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The International Olympic Committee quickly picked PyeongChang, South Korea as the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics, reaching a decision on the first ballot at about 8:20 a.m. Mountain Time.

Visit the new host city’s official Olympic website: http://www.pyeongchang2018.org.

The quick vote was no unexpected, with PyeongChang a heavy favorite after bidding for the games twice before.

The Asian winter sports capital promises to host a compact games that could help spark more participation in winter sports throughout the region.

Other candidates were Munich, Germany, which would have become the first city to ever host both the summer and winter games.

Also in the running was Annecy, France, where some events would be held in the shadow of Mont Blanc, near Chamonix, which hosted the first-ever Winter Olympics in 1924.

Choosing PyeongChang, South Korea as the host city brings the games back to Asia for the first time since the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan.

More information on the voting is online at the  IOC website. Continue reading

Breckenridge: Bikes take center stage this week

A passion for cycling can start at an early age in Summit County.

Breck Bike Week features group rides, workshops and volunteer trail-building opportunities

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Breck Bike Week is going big this year, with events including a countdown to the start of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, group rides, mechanical clinics and even a mountain bike ride with Breckenridge Mayor and cyclist John Warner.

“Breckenridge strives to kindle a new passion for sports, especially mountain and road biking, through events like our annual Bike Week,” Warner said. “Bike Week brings the best manufacturers to town so that visitors and locals can experience the latest and greatest equipment. We marry the high-tech side with easily-accessible activities such as paved bike paths and poker rides. We love bikes and bike events.”

With access to a trail network spanning more than 1,000 miles of Summit County, Breckenridge has a well-deserved reputation as a summer cycling destination. Many trails (which serve as routes for both amateur and professional races) are preexisting paths and flumes used by miners in search of gold. Road cyclists can explore the surrounding counties via mountain passes, bike paths and state highways. Continue reading

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