The 2014 USA Pro Challenge’s Stage 5 will culminate with an exciting finish is Breckenridge, CO. This stage’s serene first 80 miles hide a vicious finish and a last chance for climbing specialists to really make a move. Starting in the new host community of Woodland Park, Stage 5 heads west then north through some of the most picturesque terrain in Colorado. A quiet run through the Pike National Forest on Tarryall Rd., which was unpaved until just last year, and the riders will christen it properly with high speeds and lots of breakaway attempts. The action really starts when the race hits Fairplay and begins the long grind up 11,500 ft. Hoosier Pass, the highest point in the race. Then it is on to Breckenridge, where last year’s challenging finish up Moonstone Rd. will be repeated again.
The finish is expected to take place around 3:30pm on Friday Aug 22 on Breckenridge’s Main Stree. It will be followed by the awards ceremony. The entire day will be full of fun and festivities including pond crossing challenge, a stunt bike show, and several concerts.
Breckenridge will celebrate this in combination with Breck Bike Week. Recently named a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, Breckenridge introduces visitors to pedal paradise during the annual Breck Bike Week. Bike Week will include high-end bike demos, led group rides, trail building, lectures, clinics, free bike tunes, kids’ races and more. The bonus is that most Breck Bike Week activities are FREE and open to everyone. In addition, this week will showcase the town’s history as well as shopping, dining, lodging, other unique activities and temperate summer weather.
The following day, Vail will host the Stage 6 Time Trial on Vail Pass. The last time the USA Pro Challenge visited Vail, the Time Trial was decided by 58 hundredths of a second. Competition will be equally fierce this time around. Starting in Vail and climbing most of the way up Vail Pass, the route is no easy proposition, even for the best racers on earth. The gentle grades of the first half of the course give way to a steady climb for the last three miles. But it takes more than legs on this strategic course; go hard too early and the climb may kill your chances, but conserve too much for the climb and the leaderboard may be out of reach.
Be sure to come early to get a good spot to watch. Either head into Vail Village before the race starts and find a viewing spot along the well marked and barriered course, or find a less crowded and festive atmosphere along the race route along Vail pass. You may bike up the course in the morning before the race starts to find a good picnic spot. Then, wait as the fastest bicyclists in the world begin to pass, one by one! Depending on where you watch from, the racers will be separated by several minutes.