In six days the 2014 USA Pro Challenge professional cycling race will start in Aspen and take the world’s best cyclists on a seven-day trek through the Colorado Rockies on the way to the overall finish in Denver. Taking place Aug. 18-24, the race will be a heart-pounding journey that will test riders’ strength and endurance over a 550-mile course.
The largest spectator event in the history of the state, the race welcomes more than 1 million fans each year. To ensure fans are safe and can get to where they need to go, we’ve put together the following spectator guide, which includes road closure information, camping details, viewing tips and best places to watch.
· Don’t touch the cyclists. These are professional athletes competing in an endurance sport…let them do their thing
· If you want to take photos, stand clear of the road. The riders use all of the pavement, so stay to the side when taking that selfie
· Give the riders ample room on both sides of the road…you never know when someone is going to make that decisive move
· At the starts and finishes keep all your limbs behind the barriers (no explanation needed)
· Take responsibility for any children or pets you have with you to keep them safe and out of the way
· Please don’t paint on the roadways
· Have fun: Cheer, yell, ring your cowbells…the riders love the extra encouragement!
“Stand and cheer, but please stay clear. Sounds a little cheesy, but when people try to run with us, they turn their backs and then they don’t know where we are. So come out and cheer your butts off, but help us stay safe by keeping your distance,” said defending champion and fifth place Tour de France finisher Tejay van Garderen
Best Places to Watch:
Stage 1: Aspen Circuit Race – Monday, Aug. 18
· Start/finish line in Downtown Aspen
· Snowmass KOM at the fire station
· Snowmass Village
Stage 2: Aspen to Crested Butte – Tuesday, Aug. 19
· Carbondale Sprint line
· McClure Pass Summit
· Kebler Pass
· Downtown Crested Butte
· Mt. Crested Butte uphill finish
Stage 3: Gunnison to Monarch Mountain – Wednesday, Aug. 20
· Sprint line in Salida
· KOM on first passage of Monarch Pass
· First-ever mountaintop finish at the Monarch Mountain Ski Area
Stage 4: Colorado Springs Circuit Race – Thursday, Aug. 21
· Start at the world famous Broadmoor
· Garden of the Gods, especially the infamous Ridge Rd., which hits grades of nearly 17 percent
· Finish line in Downtown Colorado Springs
Stage 5: Woodland Park to Breckenridge – Friday, Aug. 22
· The run through Pike National Forest on Tarryall Rd.
· 11,500-ft. Hoosier Pass, the highest point in the race
· Challenging finish in Breckenridge up Moonstone Rd.
Stage 6: Vail Individual Time Trial – Saturday, Aug. 23
· Starting gate in Vail Village
· Access Road climb
· Vail Pass
Stage 7: Boulder to Denver – Sunday, Aug. 24
· Downtown Boulder
· Sprint through Golden
· Lookout Mountain
· Denver Finish Circuit
Additionally, due to high demand, additional inventory has been added to the Founders Box Hospitality tents in the finish cities. The hospitality tents include live streaming of the race, a delicious buffet of gourmet offerings and an open bar with wine and beer selections. The hospitality passes give fans the opportunity to watch the race unfold on TV, head out to the Finish Festival and return to watch the pros battle for the stage win right in front of the tent. Passes can be purchased by logging on to usaprocyclingchallenge.com/select-race-experiences.
To assist motorists, CDOT’s website www.cotrip.org will have information regarding highway closures, delays, oversize and overweight restrictions, suggested alternative routes, and answers to frequently asked questions. Links to the host city websites also are provided, offering information regarding local road closures and long-term parking availability. Delay and closure times will be estimates only and subject to change depending on the pace of the race, weather and other unanticipated conditions. Please refer to www.cotrip.org for road closure information. The roads close earlier on some of the climbs listed below, so plan ahead.
Please reference the Pro Challenge section of the CDOT website for further info.
Keep in mind that road closures and delays to motorized traffic do not apply to pedestrians and bike traffic, so why not ride your bike or park and walk to the location you want to watch the race? Both are great ways to see the action and join in on the fun and excitement of experiencing this world class event. Just be aware of your surroundings and stay on the shoulders where they’re available.
To avoid being held up by road closures, many fans choose to enjoy the great outdoors and camp in one of the various campgrounds along the route. Many opportunities for camping exist on National Forest lands, including staying in a developed campground or dispersed camping that is temporarily available in select locations to accommodate the large number of spectators at the Pro Challenge. Reservations for the developed campgrounds are strongly recommended during race week. People interested in reserving a campsite can call (877) 444-6777 or visit www.recreation.gov. For further information on camping options, check out the Forest Service website.