USA Pro Cycling Challenge Routes Announced- Finishing in Breckenridge

On May 6th,the USA Pro Cycling Challenge released the 2014 race routes.  This year's route will be challenging for riders and will host the first ever mountaintop finish.  The 550 mile race will begin on August 18th and travel across the state of Colorado, ending on August 24th in Denver.  According to the owner of the USA Pro Challenge, Rick Schaden, "The 2014 route will be a challenge for the riders and will provide plenty of great viewing opportunities for the spectators. Thisyear is looking like it will be the best yet."

Along the USA Pro Cycling Challenge route, riders will visit several towns, including another finish in Breckenridge.  Spectators will be able to see the professional riders up close at each start city, where there will be a circuit loop through town before the riders leave.  The only exception will be the time trails in Vail. This year's route will take riders to higher elevations than any of the other Grand Tours, including Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

Stage 1 - Stage 1 of the 2014 will be the same route as 2013 Aspen/Snowmass Circuit. It is only 65 miles, but riders will challenged with doing 3 laps and 2,300 ft. of climbing per lap.  There is not much recovery time available.  Riders will make the grueling ride up to Snowmass Village and then have a quick descent which will leads to two short, but very steep climbs, then loop through downtown before doing it all again.

Stage 2 – This year, the USA Pro Challenge will be including Kebler Pass, which is a part of Colorado cycling history.  Riders will rip down Aspen Valley through Basalt and Carbondale, then they will tackle the 8,700 ft. McClure Pass.  With a short descent, riders will race to Gunnison County Rd 12- a rollercoaster, including dirt and pavement parts.  At the end, they will top out at 9,900 ft. over Kebler Pass, descending into Creste Butte, finishing with a steep finish climbup to Mt. Crested Butte.

Stage 3 – The USA Pro Challenge riders will be challenged with climbing to high elevation.  Stage 3 will start in Gunnison and will head east for 35 miles before tackling Monarch Pass at 11,300 ft.  Then riders will descend the eastern slope and begin two 9-miles loops through Salida and the countryside.  After a scenic ride, riders will climb almost 20 miles to finish at 10,800 ft- the Monarch Mountain Ski Area.

Stage 4 – Stage 4 will start at the world famous Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and will head into town and begin a16-mile circuit that will be raced four times. Riders will enjoy a ride through Garden of the Gods, Ridge Road- whichhas grades of nearly 17 percent.

Stage 5 – Stage 5 will be no exception in the 2014 USA Pro Challenge. The race will start in a new host city, Woodland Park.  The first 80 miles will be serene, hiding what challenge lies ahead.  It will be a quiet ride through the Pike National Forest, until they hit Fairplay.  Then the grind begins with a ride up 11,500 ft. Hoosier Pass.  This will be the highest altitude reached in the race.  Riders will descend into Breckenridge and finish at the same place as 2013, Moonstone Road.

Stage 6 – Starting in Vail, theindividual time trails will start climbing up most of Vail Pass.  The last three miles of the course will giveway to a steady climb.  Riders mustconserve their energy to reach the top.

Stage 7 – Stage 7 on the 2014 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will remain on familiar terrain.  Riders will leave Boulder on CO 93 before reaching Golden.  Through Golden, the riders will tackle a 4 miles climb up Lookout Mountain.  Then riders will make another pass through Golden and will race through Denver's suburbs en route to downtown Denver.  Past races have witnessed some incredible sprinting on Broadway in the heart of Denver, and for 2014, there should be no exception.

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