Mountain Mayhem: USA Pro Challenge
Cycling fervor swept over the Roaring Fork Valley this past week with the arrival of the USA Pro Challenge.
Leading up to the race’s return to Aspen, The Little Nell hosted Clip-In With Christian, a camp with former pro cyclists George Hincapie (who holds a record 17 starts in the Tour de France), Craig Lewis (who holds the King of the Mountain from Aspen to the top of Independence Pass in 1:05:41) and decorated road and track rider Christian Vande Velde.
On Wednesday, Aug. 19, The Pro Challenge set off from Copper Mountain with a climb up Freemont Pass, traveling alongside Turquoise Lake and then a sprint through Leadville, ascent up Independence Pass and lightning fast descent into Aspen. Kiel Reijnen of Team UnitedHealthcare clinched the win for Stage 3 as Aspen fans cheered wildly all the way to the Main Street finish.
Paepcke Park’s Finish Festival teemed with people enjoying food, drinks and games throughout the day.
The next morning, Stage 4 was re-enacted as an encore from 2013’s race, connecting the Pro Challenge’s two most visited towns. After three laps around Aspen, riders headed back up the pass and on to Breckenridge.
For results, photos and more info, visit http://www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com.
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