Another grueling day awaits the racers for the USA Pro Challenge for Stage 3 of the 2014 race. Riders will essentially double back up to Monarch Mountain after first going over the adjacent Monarch Pass. This gives the spectators a double chance to see the race during steep hill climbs.
Leaving Gunnison at 11:25am, the course heads east for 35 miles before the ascent of the 11,312 ft. challenge that is Monarch Pass. Total elevation gain from Gunnison is 3,609 feet, with the steepest section after the town of Sargents. The riders will then descend the eastern slope of the pass and enter the town of Salida. In Salida, fans will be treated to two 9-mile loops that include two Sprint line contests. Then its, back up toward Monarch for nearly 20 miles and 3,740 feet of climbing 10,800 feet at the Monarch Mountain Ski Area.
For those watching on Monarch, the first view opportunity is at the pass. For the return, spectators should bike or hike to Monarch Mountain Ski Area for the finish line events. Be prepared for high altitude mountain weather, as sudden rain storms and drops in temperatures are common. Bring rain gear and warm clothes, even if the morning starts out sunny!
Start Time: 11:25am
Approx End time: 3:50pm
Start/ Line – Gunnison
Two sprints; Two King of the mountain
Suggested View Points:
Gunnison Town: - Start Line
Monarch Pass – Top of climb
Salida Town – Sprint line, tour will lap twice
Monarch Mountain – Top of climb
*Road Closures –Details on road closures and detours can be seen posted on the Colorado Department of Transportation, Pro Challenge web page.