The 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge kicks off this Monday in Durango and concludes Sunday, the 26th, right here in Denver. Last year, I missed the inaugural Pro Cycling Challenge as riders flew past our office on the way to the finish line. This year, based on the huge turnout and response from last year, I am going to make sure to not miss it again.
It always amazed me that there wasn’t a major bike race in Colorado before last year. But based on what I found out about it on their website, click here, I think it is definitely here to stay. According to the website, “The inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge was the most demanding bike race ever held on American soil, with racers experiencing breathless altitudes, day after day. The race brought the high speeds, danger and adrenaline of professional cycling to elevations more than two miles high in some of the most picturesque terrain in the world—the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With altitudes and downhill peaks double what riders usually endure, the Colorado Rocky Mountains presented a course that was as much a part of the race as the riders themselves.
For seven consecutive days, from August 22-28, 2011, 135 of the world’s top athletes raced across 518 miles through the majestic Rockies. This inaugural race in Colorado featured the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery, including cities such as Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs.
Nearly 1 million spectators viewed this race from the roadsides along the route while 161 countries and territories broadcasted the race on television, including NBC and Versus. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge was one of the largest cycling events in United States history.”
This year, the race features new cities and mountain passes that the average citizen is scared to drive their cars over, let alone bike. The website has plenty of information about the race and how to experience it best. The routes are outlined with the prime places to watch, so start planning now and see one of the most exciting races the west has to offer.