Colorado is still abuzz from the U.S.A. Pro Challenge and inspired, local cyclists are getting after it before the snow sets in. Try your hand at Stage 1 of this year’s race in Aspen. We’ll supply the route which you can download from ViewRanger via the code in the callout box, but you’re on your own if you want to compare yourself to the times set by the racers… or maybe just your friends.
1. The Start
Grab a bite to eat in downtown Aspen at the Main Street Bakery then head west on Main Street and follow the traffic out of town to the roundabout. Turn left and start a warm-up climb.
2. Maroon Creek Bridge
Imagine the peloton squeezing down and riders vying for position to get on this narrow road and then to file onto the beautiful, but tight, Maroon Creek Bridge. Once on the road it’s a nice glide back to the main highway. It’s safer and easier to take the underpass under 82 and continue along the ABC Trail instead of getting over the median on 82 or riding on the wrong side as the racers did. Turn left and cross 82 onto Owl Creek Road.
3. King of the Mountain (KOM)
If you were sucking wind on the first little up, this next Category 4 climb to Snowmass is going to crush you. Pace yourself. By the time you reach the top, you’ll be eight miles into the course. Get ready for a nice long descent before climbing again.
4. KOM 2
After another Cat 4 climb you’ll reach the rolling ribbon of road along McLane Flats. This is a beautiful stretch and you’ll be able to glance right and see the runway at the airport where you started your first big climb. Enjoy the ride along the flats because you’re about to drop down again only to crank out one last climb before it’s over.
5. Home Stretch
Hang in there. You’re about to complete the first 21.6 mile loop. Feeling good? Go for another lap, and then another and you’ve completed Stage 1. Then imagine going on to ride from Aspen to Breckenridge and all the other stages the pro riders did day after day for a solid week of competition riding.