From Pedal to (Gold) Medal: The USA Pro Challenge Finish in Denver
The exciting conclusion to the third annual USA Pro Challenge, America’s own version of the Tour de France, will take place on August 25, 2013 with eight thrilling laps on a 9.3 mile city circuit around the heart of downtown Denver.
The event, Aug. 19-25, will be the most demanding bike race ever held on American soil. Racers will experience breathless altitudes day after day, bringing the danger and adrenaline of professional biking to elevations more than two miles high. The 599-mile race will be across some of the most picturesque terrain in the world – the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
And for the grand finale? Denver is the place to be! There will be a free festival in Civic Center Park with food trucks, cold craft beer, live music, an awards ceremony and a whole lot more. New this year, the course will open early in the morning for a 9K foot race, with runners encouraged to show their “Pro Challenge spirit” by wearing outrageous fan costumes. Denver B-cycle will also offer a discounted day rate on August 25.
Make Denver your home base for the weekend and take advantage of great hotel deals, available at www.denver.org/denver-hotels/.
Five Great Spots to Watch the Action
The Denver Circuit takes the best parts of the 2011 and 2012 Denver stages and combines them into a more action-packed, thrilling race. It still hits all the Denver highlights – LoDo, Larimer Square, Restaurant Row, City Park and Civic Center Park, while bringing back the thrills of peloton pack racing. This year’s race will start at approximately 12:55 pm and is expected to finish around 3:45 pm, with the awards ceremony to directly follow in front of the State Capitol building.
Civic Center Park: The race starts and finishes here, in the shadow of the Colorado State Capitol building! The fan support in this spot is immense, and the energy is contagious. This is also where the awards ceremony will take place.
17th Avenue: The riders zoom down 17th Avenue, picking up speed as they make their way to City Park. Claim a spot at one of the many outdoor patios along “Restaurant Row” and watch for early breakaways while enjoying a cold cocktail!
City Park: Pack a picnic and pick a sunny spot in Denver’s own version of New York City’s Central Park, enjoy the skyline, and cheer as the world’s best pro-cyclists race for glory.
Speer Boulevard and Denver Center for the Performing Arts: Look for The Dancers – the 50-foot-tall sculptures located on the lawn of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – and join the crowd along the stretch of Speer Boulevard.
Larimer Square: Denver’s most historic block will offer one of the most thrilling viewpoints of the race, as the racers make some extremely tight turns around 15th and Larimer Streets. See who has the nerve to take it the fastest and claim the final prize in downtown Denver.
New This Year – The 9K Sprint Challenge
As a new addition to the USA Pro Challenge, on Sunday, Aug. 25, local Coloradans and visitors will have the opportunity to participate in a 9K run (5.6 miles) in downtown Denver utilizing part of the 9.4-mile circuit the professional cyclists will race along just hours. The 9K Sprint Challenge is open to people of all ages and families are encouraged to run together.
Prizes will be awarded for the fastest man and woman; however, as this run is associated with one of the biggest American professional cycling races, there also will be a prize for best costume. All three winners will receive two passes to enjoy the final stage of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge from the hospitality tent, as well as the opportunity to appear on stage during the final awards presentation that day. Online registration is currently open. More information is available at 9ksprint.com.
Denver B-cycle to Offer Discounted Day Rate on August 25
With 85-miles of paved, off-street bike trails and the first citywide bike sharing program in the nation, Denver is Cycle Town U.S.A. On August 25, residents and visitors can see the sights of the city on two wheels with a discounted Denver B-cycle day pass for just $5 (regular day pass is $9). Just swipe a credit card and enter code 505 at the kiosk and start exploring! More than 800 shiny red bikes are available at 80-plus stations, conveniently located throughout the city near hotels, parks and attractions. More information about Denver B-cycle can be found at DenverBcycle.com. Get started with these fun ride suggestions around the city.
To learn more about what’s happening around The Mile High City during the USA Pro Challenge weekend, and to secure great hotel deals, go to visitdenver.com/upc.