The exciting conclusion to the first USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the most grueling bike race in American history, will take place on August 28, 2011 with a free party at Denver’s Civic Center Park. The seven-day, 500-mile race across Colorado’s Rocky Mountains will end with national television coverage on NBC and an estimated Denver crowd of 50,000. Competing in the race are some of the top professional cyclists in the world, including: five former and current world champions; five current national champions; and nine 2011 Major Race Champions such as Tour de France winner Cadel Evans; and the famed brothers from Luxembourg, Andy and Frank Schleck.

The race is expected to come down to a sprint finish with six loops around Civic Center Park, a green oasis in the heart of Downtown Denver. Spectators will cheer from a free party in the center of the park, while racers zoom by around them. Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. with concerts by local and national bands, nearly 20 gourmet food trucks, beer booths, bicycle demonstrations, exclusive race-day merchandise, and family fun. Riders are expected to cross the finish line at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Broadway directly in front of the gold-plated dome of the Colorado State Capitol, with an awards ceremony immediately after.

“Denver has never hosted a free, world-class sporting event of this caliber,” states Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We will have live music, entertainment, and some of the great heroes of international cycling – all for free,” he said. Scharf said that visitors are encouraged to be green and access Civic Center Park by light rail or bus, some of which will be running special routes to accommodate the event. There will also be bike valet by the Webb Municipal Building along with additional lock-up areas, and since the race is on a Sunday, all surrounding on-street parking is free.

This event continues the grand sports tradition of Civic Center Park, which has already hosted two Super Bowl victory parties, two Stanley Cup victory parties, the 2011 Big Air ski and snowboard jumping event and an Indy-style car racing Grand Prix. In addition to the Capitol, the beautiful park is flanked by three of the city’s architectural icons: the Denver Public Library, designed by London architect Michael Graves; the fortress-like original Denver Art Museum designed by Gio Ponti of Milan, Italy; and the other, the museum’s critically acclaimed new Hamilton Building, the first structure in the U.S. designed by internationally famous architect Daniel Libeskind.

Limited road closures are expected to impact Denver streets on Sunday, August 28 for the race finish. Rolling closures are expected as the cyclists come from Golden to Denver with the first cyclists expected to arrive at the five-mile Downtown Denver closed course at approx. 12 p.m. Details on all road closures and alternate routes are available on the USA Pro Cycling Challenge website and at www.cotrip.org.

Please note, the following items are not allowed into the festival area: food and beverages; glass bottles; pets (except service animals); firearms, weapons, contraband or laser pointers; kites, Frisbees, balls or other sports equipment; scooters, skateboards or inline skates; bicycles (bike parking is located outside of the festival grounds). There is no unauthorized vending or distribution of literature, and no alcoholic beverages may be taken off of festival grounds.

For race press credential information, please go to the USA Pro Cycling media page.

For information on Denver’s Summer of Adventure and summer hotel rates, go to the VISIT DENVER website.