USA Pro: Peloton Aspen benefit Friday
The Aspen Times
Peloton Aspen, the annual benefit held in conjunction with the USA Pro Challenge, will kick off the cycling stage race Friday night in Aspen.
The fourth annual Colorado stage race is scheduled to start with the Aspen/Snowmass Circuit Race on Monday.
Festivities are scheduled throughout the weekend.
But first, the Peloton Aspen fundraising kickoff will raise money for the Aspen Hope Center and raise funds to offset the local costs of hosting the USA Pro Challenge stages.
Steven Shane is the Peloton Aspen sponsor. The charity event includes a cocktail party, dinner and auction.
“The event includes opportunities to wine and dine with pro cyclists, commentators and other influential sports personalities,” according to Shane. “Peloton Aspen has raised more than $120,000 for local charities. This year’s efforts will focus on supporting crisis intervention and prevention through the Aspen Hope Center.”
Tickets for the Peloton Aspen benefit are available through http://www.pelotonaspen.com or aspenshowtix.com.
The event encourages visitors and locals to celebrate the cycling culture in Aspen with several of the pro cyclists who will be riding in the USA Pro Challenge.
The opening day’s Aspen/Snowmass Circuit Race will feature the same course as last year with three laps for a total of about 68 miles.
The afternoon start (2:10 p.m. Monday) will send the cyclists from downtown Aspen to Owl Creek Road for the climb and then quick descent to Snowmass Village.
They head down Brush Creek with a hard left-hand turn up Medicine Bow, near Highway 82.
They climb Medicine Bow, Upper Ranch Road and then descend down across Highway 82 at Smith Hill Way.
Then, it’s the grind up to McLain Flats Road and the run back into Aspen for the short climb up Cemetery Lane.
Like last year, the course will turn down and then back up Power Plant Road for the high-speed dash through Aspen’s West End on Smuggler Avenue. They’ll work their way around the Hotel Jerome and back to Main Street for laps 2 and 3.
Peter Sagan of Cannondale won the Aspen/Snowmass Circuit Race last year.
Sagan this year will race in Spain, opening opportunities in the Colorado stage race.
This year, Aspen also will host the start of stage 2 on Tuesday.
The second day of racing will take the cyclists from Aspen down McLain Flats to Highway 82 to Basalt, then to Carbondale via the Catherine Store route.
Then, it’s on up Highway 133 and over McClure Pass, down McClure and then on to Crested Butte via Kebler Pass, with miles and miles of dirt and gravel surface.
For more information on the USA Pro Challenge stages in Aspen and Snowmass Village, including road closure schedules, visit http://www.aspenupcc.com.
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Trailing to Aspen early in Sunday’s championship, the American Raptors came back to lead 24-15 at halftime and held a two score lead well into the second half before the Gents took over the match. This was the Gents’ 22nd championship at Ruggerfest, a tournament that dates to 1968.