Aspen, Colo. – The nation’s most challenging cycling race will call eight Colorado cities home in 2013 when it starts in Aspen on August 19 and ends in Denver on August 25, 2013. The USA Pro Challenge announced its host cities today, naming the communities that will serve as the starts and finishes for the third annual stage race.
Mayor Steve Bach said “Although we are very disappointed, we appreciate the opportunity to have had the Pro-Cycling Challenge here in Colorado Springs and hope they will be back in the future.”
After drawing more than 1 million fans in each of the first two years and generating nearly $200 million in cumulative economic impact for the State of Colorado, the USA Pro Challenge will make its debut in Fort Collins and Loveland in 2013 while bringing many of the worlds best riders back to cities like Steamboat Springs, Vail and Denver.
The host cities and stages of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge include:
Monday, Aug. 19 Stage 1 Aspen/Snowmass Circuit
Tuesday, Aug. 20 Stage 2 Aspen/Snowmass – Breckenridge
Wednesday, Aug. 21 Stage 3 Breckenridge – Steamboat Springs
Thursday, Aug. 22 Stage 4 Steamboat Springs – Beaver Creek
Friday, Aug. 23 Stage 5/ITT Vail Time Trial
Saturday, Aug. 24 Stage 6 Loveland – Fort Collins
Sunday, Aug. 25 Stage 7 Denver Circuit
"Riders now know that there is no race in America like the USA Pro Challenge, and these host cities help ensure cycling’s world stage returns to Colorado for seven days of grueling competition,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO and Co-Chairman of the USA Pro Challenge. “Each of these communities will be on an international stage as we partner with them to ensure the USA Pro Challenge takes its place as America’s greatest race."
In just two years, the USA Pro Challenge has established itself as one of the most challenging and competitive races in the world, drawing the best cyclists in the sport and accolades from around the world.
“When you combine the high-altitude climbs, the enthusiasm of the crowds and the level of competition, the USA Pro Challenge is one of my favorite race weeks," said Christian Vandevelde, the overall winner of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge. "I can’t wait to get back in 2013 and defend the title with my Garmin-Sharp teammates."
The two new cities joining the 2013 race – Fort Collins and Loveland – offer breathtaking scenery, as well as a unique cycling history, that will add to the overall impact of the race.
"With the addition of Loveland and Fort Collins we are adding two cities that have built a community around the cycling culture,” Hunter said. “We are thrilled to incorporate their enthusiasm as we continue to showcase Colorado as the center of the nation’s cycling spirit."
Further details of the start and finish line locations, as well as the specific, detailed route, will be announced in the spring. With its consolidated footprint and multiple back-to-back stages, the 2013 race will ensure that spectators in host cities will have many opportunities to root for their favorite rider or team.
A number of criteria were taken into consideration when evaluating potential host cities, including full city services support. The race also considered commitments in the areas of lodging, volunteer recruitment, marketing and local tourism, as well as an ability to host world-class athletes and promote the State of Colorado.
"The USA Pro Challenge has created an entirely new audience for our state," Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said. "Not only is it the best American competition, it’s essentially a week-long advertisement for our state with 128 of the best cyclists in the world acting as tour guides."
About the USA Pro Challenge
For seven consecutive days, the world’s premier cyclists race through the majestic Colorado Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure – more than two miles in elevation. One of the largest cycling events in United States history, the 2013 race will feature the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery.
Referred to as “America’s Race,” the third annual USA Pro Challenge will take place August 19-25, 2013. More than 1 million spectators are expected to once again line the route again in 2013, while millions more around the world will watch the race on television and online through the Tour Tracker. The two previous winners of the Pro Challenge were Levi Leipheimer in 2011 and Christian Vandevelde in 2012.