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Thousands Descend On Vail To Watch Pro Challenge

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Juan Pablo Suarez of Columbia riding for EPM-UNE rides through Vail Village in the individual time trial during stage three of the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Aug. 25, 2011 in Vail. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Juan Pablo Suarez of Columbia riding for EPM-UNE rides through Vail Village in the individual time trial during stage three of the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Aug. 25, 2011 in Vail. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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VAIL, Colo. (CBS4)- The Vail Valley is welcoming thousands of spectators who are in town to watch many of the world’s top cyclists compete in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Thursday’s Stage 3 ride was a time trial from Vail Village to the top of Vail Pass.

RELATED STORY: Leipheimer Wins Stage, Regains Overall Lead

Erie cyclist Michael Kosta was among those who lined the streets on Thursday to watch.

“You can see the Tour de France on TV all the time. But when you’re right in the middle of it there’s just nothing like it,” said Kosta.

The trial allows one cyclist out on the route at a time, which means it’s one of the best viewing days of the entire race.

Some of the spectators in Vail expect to follow the Challenge until its completion in Denver on Sunday.

The Stage 4 start is in Avon on Friday. Temporary road closures will be in place on U.S. Highway 6 from Avon to Wolcott, then up CO Highway 131 toward Steamboat Springs and the Stage 4 finish.

Stage 5 will be on Saturday and will run from Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge.

The race wraps up on Sunday with Stage 6’s ride from Golden to Denver. Riders will arrive at the state Capitol between 1:30 and 1:45 p.m.

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