The USA Pro Challenge has unveiled seven of the host cities that will be highlighted as starts and finishes for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge. Slated for August 17-23, the race will feature several changes from a year ago, including a new overall start in Steamboat Springs, new host venues Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain, and a challenging individual time trial course in Breckenridge. And with six of the seven stages set, organizers are looking to fans to help determine the location of Stage 6.
Here's a look at where things stand now:
- Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 17 - Steamboat Springs Circuit Race
- Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 18 - Steamboat Springs to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
- Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 19 - Copper Mountain Resort to Aspen
- Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 20 - Aspen to Breckenridge
- Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 21 - Breckenridge Individual Time Trial
- Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 22 - ???
- Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 - Golden to Denver
A new overall start for the Pro Challenge, Steamboat Springs is located just west of the Continental Divide and Rabbit Ears Pass, making it a great location to kick off the race and showcase Colorado's unique scenic beauty.
In one of the most significant changes to the 2015 route, Breckenridge will host the individual time trial. Located 9,600 ft. above sea level, this course will test the riders with challenging, hilly terrain. With these additions combined with new host cities Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain Resort, the 2015 course will create dramatic moments for the riders and fans.
Known for its rugged peaks and long ski season, Arapahoe Basin's proximity to the steep, winding Loveland Pass makes it a summertime waypoint for cyclists. During this stage, the pro peloton can expect the challenge of a 1,500-foot elevation gain toward a high-altitude finish at 10,780 feet.
Last year, fans weighed in on the final stage and ultimately determined a route that took the riders from Boulder, through Golden and finished in downtown Denver. Due to fan interest and support, organizers are again letting people have a say in the course. Fans will be able to help shape the race by logging on to www.prochallenge.com/2015stage6 and giving their opinion on what part of the state Stage 6 should visit.
"I am so happy to hear the USA Pro Challenge is going through Aspen again," said 2014 race winner Tejay van Garderen. "It is always great to be able to race in front of my family and close friends. "
Additional details regarding the exact start and finish locations of the 2015 race, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.