Saturday, November 6, 2010

quiznos pro challenge

I read over at Biking Bis that the host cities have been announced for next year's inaugural Quiznos Pro Challenge bike race. Denver based Quiznos picked up the ball dropped when government officials in Missouri failed to commit to support for the Tour of Missouri. Lance Armstrong got involved and Colorado's governor joined him....and here we go! The 560 mile race, next August 22-28, will begin with a prologue time-trial in Colorado Springs. They haven't laid out the exact route, but I'm guessing it will be.....spectacular!
The first stage will go from Salida to a mountain finish outside of Crested Butte. Monarch Pass will be a great first test to separate the climbers from the rest of the peloton. The ride into Crested Butte is very scenic, with the mountains just inviting you to come and play.
The next stage is from Gunnison to Aspen. If it goes through the Black Canyon, it will feature some of the best scenery ever featured in professional cycling. And McClure Pass is a short steep climb before a pretty ride into Aspen.
The next stage is a time-trial in Vail. I don't think of Vail as being a very large area, so I don't know where they would ride, but I know that the whole area is beautiful.
Next, the riders will head from Avon, just to the west of Vail, north to Steamboat Springs. I've not ridden in this area before, except for the stretch on CO-131 that brought us back to Edwards from Granby on the final day of this year's CRMBT.
The next stage will take riders from Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge. I think the whole area around Frisco and Breckenridge is one of the nicest places in Colorado.
And finally, the tour will conclude with a stage from Golden to Denver. Wherever the route takes riders through the streets of Denver, the mountains will be visible to the west, a reminder of the grueling week they've had, and waiting to welcome them back again.

If you've thought about riding in Colorado, watching this will give you a great idea of how spectacular it can be. And if you ride like I do, you'll have much more time to soak it all in than these guys will.

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