USA Pro Challenge Cyclists Race Across Colorado

Aug 19, 2014

The USA Pro Challenge started in Aspen on Monday.  Over 120 cyclists from around the world competed in a circuit race between Aspen and Snowmass. 

Colorado Public Radio talked to race announcer Phil Liggett.  He said the riders were worried about the opening day because aspen is already at altitude. 

"The guys who want to win this race…the race is over 7 days, a total of just over 800 miles in a week, it’s a tough week for them…but they know that a mistake on the first day and they may as well not bother with the rest of the week," Leggit told CPR. 

Stage 2 takes place Tuesday. Riders will pedal 105 miles from Aspen to Crested Butte.

Stage 3 on Wednesday is a 96 mile haul from Gunnison to the 11,300-foot Monarch Pass. 

The USA Pro Challenge has seven stages in total and will finish Sunday in Denver. 

Amateur road racer Louie Hayes, a Paonia resident, said he's excited to see the race come through the area.

"I think it brings a lot of attention to the state," Hayes said. "It will be watched on NBC Sports internationally." 

Hayes said to look out for Aspen's own Tejay van Garderen in the race. He took fifth in this year's Tour de France.

Kebler Pass will be closed until late Tuesday afternoon for the event, along with several other highways, as bicyclists take over the roads. 

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