How to Plan For Travel During The USA Pro Cycling Challenge

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge has become known as “America’s Race” and is now one of the most important and prominent cycling races in the country. The race takes place over multiple days and covers a span of more than 500 miles and we are lucky enough to host it right here in Colorado. This years race will start in Steamboat Springs on Monday, August 17th and ultimately finish in Denver on Sunday, August 23rd. In between Steamboat Springs and Denver, the racers will travel through a host of towns including Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Frisco, Aspen, Loveland, Fort Collins, Golden and more.

So what does this mean for us in Summit County and those who will be traveling in the area during this time? Besides for the fact that we will be witnessing history right outside of our front doors, there will be thousands of people traveling here to do the same. And when thousands of people travel to specific areas, we get congested highways and roads.

The race will be in and out of Summit County all of next week. Not only will I-70 be affected but the County itself will see a large impact. Almost all state highways surrounding I-70 will have delays and closures scheduled throughout next week as well. Tuesday, August 18th will be the most heavily impacted day in this area.  From about 2:30 – 3:30 pm, I-70 ramps at Dillon/Silverthorne in both directions will be closed.  From 1:30 – 6 pm, Loveland Pass will be closed, but busses will be available to shuttle spectators up to Arapahoe Basin.

For more detailed information about road closures and the race itself please visit these two websites:
GO I-70
USA Pro Cycling Challenge

On Sunday August, 23rd the race returns to its roots, finishing off in Denver. The race will start in Golden that morning and is planned to finish at Denver’s Civic Center Park approximately 5 hours later. If you are in the Denver region on this day, plan for heavier traffic than normal. The event will be celebrated with food, drinks, vendors and much more. If you are in the area on this day I highly recommend being a part of this experience. Book discounted lodging for the event in nearby Keystone with SummitCove Lodging and enjoy 15% off stays when you use the promo code ‘ProCycle15‘.

 Written By: Patrick Foley

2013 USA Pro Cycling Challenge Comes Back to Colorado!

2013 marks the 3rd year of professional cycling returning to Colorado! It also marks the 3rd year that the new highly acclaimed USA “Pro Challenge” will pass through Summit County. The Town of Breckenridge has previously been both a finish location and a start location in the 1st and 2nd installments of the race, but this year it will serve as a finish AND start location. Breckenridge is one of only 3 cities in Colorado to be a destination or start city in every race so far. Keystone Resort provides a great location for someone looking to watch the race as being here will enable you to avoid the traffic and madness of the race itself but be close enough to make the short trek to Breckenridge to immerse yourself in full for it. Watch the world’s best cyclists compete on the highest roads in North America!

Stage 1- Riders start in the Aspen/Snowmass Circuit- which is a 22 mile course. Racers will complete the course 3 times. Over 66 miles racers will gain over 3,000ft in elevation each lap, so this is no easy course. Riders looking to open up a time gap on some of their competition will need to use the naturally changing road conditions to pinch off the competition. Look for riders who specialize in crit races and single day classes to excel on this stage.

Stage 2 – Aspen to Breckenridge- As has become the norm with the Pro Challenge, the grueling slog over independence pass will be a feature of this race. Climbers can distance themselves from the competition by charging over the 12,000 ft monster. Flat terrain to Buena Vista, Fairplay and Alma lead to another opportunity for the climbers to get away on the climb up the south side of Hoosier Pass. Riders descend a technical top section of Hoosier pass and blast into Breckenridge. The end of the race will be most punishing as the riders have to climb up the difficult 15% grade of Moonstone Rd. before blasting down Boreas Pass Rd. to the finish line. If the climbers can put enough space between themselves and the peloton during the Independence Pass and Hoosier Pass climbs they should be able to hold on for victory. However, if they are caught prior to entering Breckenridge, look for a Puncheur to try to take advantage of Moonstone Road to go for the win.

Stage 3 – Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs- In an exact reversal of the inaugural Pro Challenge, the race starts in Breckenridge before heading over the short climb of Swan Mountain Road. Due to Swan’s size it provides a perfect opportunity to springboard breakaways.  Riders who break away have little to look forward to as they must hold of the field on the long ride to Rabbit Ears Pass. If the peloton crests the second summit of Rabbit Ears Pass together a massive bunch sprint is likely, but if the climbers open up enough of a gap you might see a breakaway survive. Look For the sprinters, and look for someone to take advantage in a breakaway.

Stage 4 – Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek- This year’s Queen Stage doesn’t feature the daunting Independence pass, and instead features several short yet punishing climbs. If the steepness of each climb doesn’t frustrate the riders, how numerous they are will. As the riders push into the final climbs of the day they find themselves on the ruthless Bachelor’s Gulch climb with grades as steep as 18%. You may see a finish reminiscent of Crested Butte 2 years ago where rider after rider appeared to be away and a clear winner only to be caught before Levi Leipheimer managed to break away in the last little bit of the race.

Stage 5 – Vail Time Trial– Once again the Vail time trial comes back. Hailing back to the days of the Coors Classic, the Vail Pass Time Trial represents one of the classic rides in Colorado Cycling Tradition. Because it is mostly uphill riders face the tough decision of choosing between a standard racing bike and a time trial bike. Some riders bet on their ability to put away time on the flat ground prior to the climb while others save their legs in hopes of making a push as they hit the hill. Either choice has its risks and benefits. Time Trial Specialists will be pitted against strong climbers going in this unique stage.

Stage 6 – Loveland to Fort Collins– Riders begin the day in Loveland and enjoy the flats for a brisk early ride before heading up the Big Thompson Canyon. This winding road full of grade changes should split up the pack quite effectively as they head up through Devils Gulch before entering scenic Estes Park and back down through Glen Comfort and the Big Thompson Canyon. Provided the pack comes back together on the way down to Fort Collins, you can expect an exciting mass sprint in Fort Collins.

Stage 7 – Denver – Once again, the final day finds itself in Denver. By now the winner of the race ought to be decided, and as is with the Champs Elysees in the Tour De France the final circuit is an opportunity for teams to line up their sprinters for the win and should provide plenty of excitement to everyone watching this stage. If the leaders are separated by only a couple seconds though you may see one of them set on changing their fate and attack on the flats hoping to take the other off guard.

Curiously absent for 3 years however are some of the more daunting climbs in the state like Trail Ridge Road which connects Estes Park to Grand Lake and the deceivingly difficult Berthoud Pass from Empire to Fraser. Another absent is one of Colorado’s toughest, Loveland Pass connecting Loveland Resort and Keystone.  Lastly, the only climb categorized as “HC” in the state is the brutal 7,000’ climb over 27 miles from Idaho Springs to the top of Mt. Evans at 14,100’. While they have yet to be used in this epic race, it is only a matter of time until they rear their heads.

The USA Pro Challenge represents Colorado’s major foray into another professional sport and highlights our state as a mecca of physical fitness and athletics in the US. The mountains are also brought to the forefront as Summit County always seems to play a role in this incredible race. Come see it, experience it, and immerse yourself in it! The race is slated to start on August 19 and finish on the 26th.

USA Pro-Cycling Challenge 2012 Back Again for Another Exciting Showing in Summit County!

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

683 Miles in 7 Days!

The USA Pro-Cycling Challenge is coming back to Colorado again this year in August for another exciting cycling event that races throughout Colorado and some of the most challenging mountain passes in the country! This Summer the USA Pro Challenge is back! August 20-26th cyclists will take on 683 miles of the Rocky Mountains,  revisiting some familiar cities from last year’s race and also travel to new towns.

Stage 1: Durango to Telluride
Stage 2: Montrose to Crested Butte
Stage 3: Gunnison to Aspen
Stage 4: Aspen to Beaver Creek
Stage 5 : Breckenridge to Colorado Springs
Stage 6: Golden to Boulder
Stage 7: Denver

Stage 5 will be the closest race to Keystone, starting in Breckenridge, heading up over Hoosier Pass and onto Colorado Springs.   A daunting 10 mile climb up Hoosier Pass to 11,500 feet makes for a rude awakening, but if the sprinters and breakaway specialists can make it over that, they have a good chance to go for a stage win.  After the single summit of the day and a fast descent into Fairplay, the high mountains are left behind.  Descending into Woodland Park, the racers may hit their fastest speeds of the week at the downhill Sprint Line, then continue downhill to Colorado Springs through the shadow of Pikes Peak. A technical uphill run through Garden of the Gods Park lets the cyclists revisit the roads of last year’s prologue before finishing with high-speed circuits through downtown Colorado Springs.

August 24, 2012

  • Start your weekend and watch the start of Stage 5 in Breckenridge, one of 2011’s most fun finish cities.
  • Watch the climb up Hoosier Pass and look for early breakaways as well as King of the Mountain jersey contenders at the summit.

If you are looking for an exciting weekend in the mountains, you may want to consider coming up to Summit County for this event. It is very exciting to watch the race and experience the awesome energy firsthand and cheer the racers on! Feeling inspired by all of the cycling? All SummitCove guests receive a free bike rental from Mountain View Sports. We recommend their ‘Ride Vail Pass‘ trips, one of the most beautiful rides around and it’s all downhill! Book a property at Mountain House or Lakeside Village and hop on the paved bike path right outside your door!

USA Pro Cycling Challenge! August 22-28th!

‘The mountain changes everything.’ 

Breathtaking altitudes, treacherous climbs and 128 of the worlds best riders. It’s the most challenging race held on American soil.

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the most demanding bike race ever held on American soil, with racers experiencing breathless altitudes, day after day. The race is on the level of the Tour de France, bringing the high speeds, danger and adrenaline of professional biking to elevations over 2 miles high in some of the most picturesque terrain in the world—the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge features the world’s top riders from teams such as RadioShack, HTC, Garmin and Liquigas. They will compete for their teammates, their fans, their families and themselves as they endure the highest elevations in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Traveling at blistering speeds, riders will risk it all in this high speed, high-adrenaline competition—with the fans there at every turn; up close and personal, with the action flying by, in person, and online.

This is a once in a lifetime event, we are privileged to be hosting on our home grounds here in Summit County!  It should be a fun weekend for everyone, so be sure to come out and watch the action and support your favorite riders!  SummitCove is offering great deals on lodging for the weekend, as low as $69 a night!

Race info & tips for Saturday, August 27, 2011
Stage 5: Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge

-The race is scheduled to arrive in Breckenridge between 3:15- 4:30 and they will becoming south from Steamboat Springs, and going through Silverthorne, Dillon, around the lake and over swan mountain road to the High School and then into Breckenridge.

-Plan ahead and allow ample time to make it to your destination and to find legal parking if driving.

-Bikes will be allowed on the course or the surrounding areas at all times, but as the race comes close you will be asked to dismount and move to the side of the road.

– Swan Mountain road will be closed ALL DAY to autos.

-The Dillon Dam Road will be OPEN all day (its currently closed until the 2nd of Sept, but it will be open on the 27th to help relieve traffic pressures associated with the race)

-The Colorado State Patrol will be initiating a rolling closure as the race progresses. It is expected that Hwy 6 between silverthorne and swan mountain road will be closed between 2:30pm and 4:00pm

– There will be two main watch points: Sapphire Point (at top of Swan Mountain Road, for the king of the mtns classification) and downtown Breckenridge where it is expected that there will be a sprint finish.

– The best way to view the race is by bike!  Avoid all of the traffic closures and limited parking; we recommend biking to the top of Swan Mountain from Keystone, where you can watch the KOM’s on their last big climb before the finish line!

– This is a NO PET EVENT

-There will be RESTRICTIONS ON THE SUMMIT STAGE. The last bus to leave Frisco bound for Breckenridge will be at 1:30, the Last bus from Breckenridge bound for Frisco will be at 1:45. THESE BUS ROUTES WILL NOT START RUNNING AGAIN UNTIL AFTER THE RACE HAS COMPLETED.