When the USA Pro Challenge rolled through the Roaring Fork Valley this week, it stirred an already impassioned cycling community into an ultra-zealous one. From Aspen to McClure Pass, Roaring Fork Valley fans came out in droves to cheer for their cycling heroes, including part-time Aspenite and defending champion Tejay van Garderen and German Jens Voigt on his farewell tour after an illustrious 17-year racing career.
The festivities kicked off with the Peloton Aspen 14 Party on Aug. 15, presented by Shane Aspen Real Estate with past and present pros in attendance. Staged at a private residence on the East End of town with cocktails, dinner, music and a live auction, the spirited evening also served as a fundraiser for the Aspen Hope Center and to help offset the local costs of hosting the race.
The Opening Ceremony at Base Village in Snowmass on Aug. 17 offered fans an opportunity to see the teams up close as commentators Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett called them up to the stage for introductions, interviews and photo ops.
The 550-mile race then set off from Aspen on Monday, taking riders and spectators through 10 official host cities across the state. Today’s stage takes place in Vail for the individual time trial, while Sunday’s race takes the riders from Boulder to Denver for the final stage. Visit www.usaprochallenge.com for more info.
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