DENVER - The route for the 2013 USA Pro Challenge professional cycling stage race, taking place Aug. 19-25 in Colorado, again will include Kremmling for the second time since the inaugural race in 2011.
The pro bycling race takes riders on a heart-pounding journey through the breathtaking Colorado Rockies. The largest spectator event in the history of the state, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge continues to set records in professional cycling history by taking the riders to unprecedented elevations.
The race will visit eight official host cities for the starts and finishes of each stage from Aspen to Denver, all with varying elevations. The start and finishes of most stages in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge are above the highest points in the Tour de France. And two new cities are joining the 2013 race - Loveland and Fort Collins.
The Kremmling leg of the race will be Stage 3. Stage 3 of this year's USA Pro Challenge is wide open for the taking. After leaving Breckenridge, Swan Mountain Road provides for breakaways as the riders weave north to Kremmling. After leaving Kremmling, riders will take part in the day's main showdown on Rabbit Ears Pass. Climbing the challenging pass will give the climbers a chance, but they will have to hold off the sprinters for 20 miles after cresting the top as they head to downtown Steamboat Springs.
After attracting more than 1 million spectators in 2012, making it one of the largest cycling events in U.S. history, the USA Pro Challenge, or America's Race, is promising just as much drama. In 2012, with a lead change nearly every day, one of the closest professional races in U.S. history came down to the final moments of the Individual Time Trial in Denver.
"The most important thing to us in creating the route for the 2013 USA Pro Challenge was to find a course that would be safe and challenging for the riders, while providing ideal viewing locations for the crowds of spectators," said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. "This year we are, once again, taking them to the highest point of any professional cycling race with Independence Pass. We're also returning to the iconic Time Trial route in Vail. The best in the sport will be racing through Colorado communities for what will be an epic week in professional cycling."
Back by popular demand, the 2013 route will feature the Vail Time Trial course that was used in the 2011 edition and was largely taken from a race forever etched in cycling history - the Coors Classic. Additionally, the race will borrow from the 2011 route for the ever-popular Denver circuit finish. Giving fans a chance to see the riders nine times (eight laps) and the riders plenty of opportunities to get familiar with the course, this will bring another exciting finish to seven days of fiercely competitive racing.
"We've set out to create the greatest professional cycling event in the U.S. and with each edition the route continues to evolve, the competition continues to be fierce and the fans continue to come out in droves," added Hunter. "In looking at the route we have outlined, each day is a challenge, which will create some amazing racing. This year is looking like it will be the best yet."
The 2013 USA Pro Challenge will test the riders' strength and endurance over a nearly 600-mile course. Highlights of the route include: