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USA Pro Cycling Challenge bike race comes to Woodland Park Colorado

Riders in the USA Pro Challenge come through Woodland Park Colorado
Riders in the USA Pro Challenge come through Woodland Park Colorado
Steve Krull / S. W. Krull Imaging

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge traverses some of the highest passes and most beautiful scenery in the rugged mountains of Colorado and is coming to Woodland Park on Aug 22, 2014 for the start of Stage 5 of the race running from Woodland Park to the beautiful ski town of Breckenridge.

According to the official website, the race called America's Race, is the "largest spectator event in the history of the state". The world's top athletes will compete in the fourth annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge, highlighting some of the most rugged terrain in the beautiful rocky mountain state of Colorado. The athletes will face some of the highest elevation and thinnest air they have ever encountered, including Kebler, Monarch, Hoosier and Vail Passes. The riders will also experience some of Colorado's greatest and most historic cities, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Vail, Aspen and Boulder.

Stage 5 of America's race will start in Woodland Park, home to the 2012 USA Pro Challenge Sprint at the base of 14,000 foot Pikes Peak, also known as America's Mountain. If the turnout at the 2012 cycling event is any indication, Woodland Park will turn out en masse to line the streets with throngs of cheering bike race fans. Businesses in the friendly mountain town will be eager to help out with the event and participate in the celebration of athletic prowess. Woodland Park is surrounded by public land in the Pike National Forest, perfect for visitors looking for a place to camp in preparation to watch the big race. The town hosts many excellent restaurants and brew pubs to keep spectators entertained before and after the race.

At the start of the Stage 5 leg, riders will begin the climb up Ute Pass past the north and west faces of Pikes Peak to the town of Divide, named for it's position high on the great Colorado continental divide. From there, the course takes competitors on a scenic tour of the Pike National Forest on Tarryall Road. 11,500 foot Hoosier Pass on Highway 285 looms large to challenge the racers on their way to the beautiful ski resort town of Breckenridge and the finish line of Stage 5.

The race is comprised of seven stages in seven days and runs courses from the southwest Colorado ski town of Aspen to the booming metropolis of Denver.

Stage 1, Aug 18, 65 miles with three laps around the Aspen Snowmass circuit.

Stage 2, Aug 19, runs from Aspen to Crested Butte, over 9900 foot Kebler Pass.

Stage 3, Aug 20, runs from Gunninson to 11,300 feet over Monarch Pass and back down to 10,800 feet at the Monarch Mountain ski area.

Stage 4, Aug 21, Tours Colorado Springs starting at the Broadmoor and leading to four 16 mile circuits through Garden of the Gods, Mesa Road, and the leg busting 17% grade on Ridge Road.

Stage 5, Aug 22, Runs from Woodland Park to 11,500 foot Hoosier Pass on the way to Breckenridge.

Stage 6, Aug 23, Runs from Vail 10 miles up Vail Pass.

Stage 7, Aug 24, Runs from Boulder through Golden and over Lookout Mountain to Denver with three circuits around downtown Denver.

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