USA Pro Challenge announces host cities for 2014 edition with a vote for final stage
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Monday, November 4, 2013

USA Pro Challenge announces host cities for 2014 edition with a vote for final stage

by Ben Atkins at 11:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Aspen start and Monarch Mountain stage finish for Colorado race

tejay van garderenThe organisers of the USA Pro Challenge have announced the cities that will host the stage starts and finishes for the 2014 edition, which will run from August 18th to 24th. The seven-day event, which takes place in the state of Colorado and describes itself as “America’s Race,” will start with a circuit race in the city of Aspen, and feature a mountaintop finish for the first time, on Monarch Mountain.

A twist from the organisers allows fans to vote for the seventh and final stage, however, with a choice of four routes to chose from.

“The host cities selected for the 2014 USA Pro Challenge will really highlight the majestic beauty of Colorado to our worldwide audience,” said race owner Rick Schaden. “These cities are valued partners who help us continue to raise the bar for professional cycling in America.”

Three of the four choices for the final stage involve the state capital Denver, while two involve Colorado’s cycling capital Boulder; they are as follows.

1. Denver Circuit Race similar to the final stage of the 2013 race
2. Start in Golden (2012 Stage 6 start city) and finish in Denver
3. Start in Boulder (2012 Stage 6 finish city) and finish in Denver
4. Start in Boulder and end in Golden

Fans wishing to have their say in the selection of the final stage should visit and cast their vote.

“We receive a lot of feedback from fans about the race and in particular the route, so, for the first time ever, we’re having fans weigh in on the final stage,” said Shawn Hunter, USA Pro Challenge CEO. “We’re excited to hear from our passionate fans. The 2014 edition is going to be bigger and better than ever.”

The stage three finish on Monarch Mountain will doubtless be one of the stages to decide the race’s general classification, and has been welcomed by Colorado resident Tom Danielson of Team Garmin-Sharp.

“I have been lobbying for the USA Pro Challenge to add a mountaintop finish to the race ever since the first edition, so I was thrilled to hear Stage three of the 2014 race will finish on Monarch Mountain,” he said. “Colorado has some of the most beautiful mountains in the world and the USA Pro Challenge draws some of the best riders in the world, so it makes perfect sense to add in a challenging mountaintop finish.

“I have ridden Monarch many times, so I’ll be ready when the race rolls around in August,” he added.

2013 race winner Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) is another rider looking forward to the race, with the defence of his title one of the 25-year-old’s targets for next season.

"The USA Pro Challenge is something that motivates me from the start of the year,” he said. “It takes place in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and that happens to be in my backyard. I'm looking forward to defending my title on another challenging course."

Further details of the specific routes of the stages, including the start and finish locations, will be announced later in the spring.

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 – ???


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