After receiving interest from cities throughout the state, race officials have unveiled eight of the host cities that will serve as starts and finishes for the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, Aug. 18-24, 2014. Several new additions will mark a pinnacle year for the professional cycling race, including the first-ever mountaintop finish during Stage 3 on Monarch Mountain. And with stages one through six in the books, organizers are looking to fans to provide feedback on four different options for the final stage by going to their web page "what's your vote stage 7"
The successful 2013 circuit race in Aspen has the stage repeating for 2014 stage one. New terriorty is the mountain top finish on Monarch Mountain for stage 3. The host cities and stages of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge include:
- Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 18 – Aspen Circuit Race
- Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 19 – Aspen to Mt. Crested Butte
- Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 20 – Gunnison to Monarch Mountain (mountaintop finish)
- Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 21 – Colorado Springs Circuit Race
- Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 22 – Woodland Park to Breckenridge
- Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 23 – Vail Individual Time Trial
- Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 24 – ???
Fans will be able to help shape the race by logging on to www.prochallenge.com/PickStage7 and giving their opinion on four options for Stage 7, including:
- Denver Circuit Race similar to the final stage of the 2013 race
- Start in Golden (2012 Stage 6 start city) and finish in Denver
- Start in Boulder (2012 Stage 6 finish city) and finish in Denver
- Start in Boulder and end in Golden
As new additions to the race, Monarch Mountain and Woodland Park, offer breathtaking scenery that will add to the overall impact of the race. Stage 5 start city Woodland Park, the “City Above the Clouds,” is renowned for its natural beauty and proximity to great outdoor adventures. Home to one of the sprint competitions during Stage 5 of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge, the city sits at an elevation of 8,465 ft. and is surrounded by national forest. Additionally, Stage 3 will include the race’s first-ever mountaintop finish, presenting the riders with a brand new challenge. One of Colorado’s oldest ski areas, Monarch Mountain’s base elevation of 10,790 makes it the highest in North America.
Additional details regarding the start and finish locations of the 2014 race, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.
Photo by Peter Wayne