BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (CBS4)– Beaver Creek was the scenic backdrop to the Stage 4 finish line of the USA Pro Challenge on Thursday.
Riders started out the morning in Aspen, made their way over Independence Pass for the second time of the race, before pedaling through Leadville and finishing in Beaver Creek.
The Vail Valley Foundation is partly responsible for bringing the race to Beaver Creek. The group is a vital piece of the Eagle County economy.
The Vail Valley Foundation is responsible for some of the largest sporting events hosted in Colorado.
“We’re fortunate to have a great collection of terrific events including the Birds of Prey World in December, which we organize, and in 2012 the World Championships. So every time we get an opportunity to do a big event that just makes us better because it gives us practice all along the way,” said Vail Valley Foundation President Ceil Folz.
Beaver Creek Resort is excited the mountain town is a stop in this year’s race.
“We like to do international events and this is just another event that helps make Beaver Creek the place it is,” said Beaver Creek Resort spokesman Doug Lovell. “It allows us to showcase our resort to the world and the rest of the United States. We’re really excited to have the cycling fans here.”
Beaver Creek couldn’t host an iconic stage finish without its famed chocolate chip cookie time.
Every day at 3 p.m. Beaver Creek’s cookie time chefs serve hot, chocolate chip cookies at the base of the Centennial Chairlift, Chair #6.
The Vail Valley partnership submitted multiple bids for this year’s race after what they said was a successful stage in the town of Vail last year.
“The Vail time trial was an event near and dear to all of our hearts and we’d love to see that come back, but I know the tour has a lot of great places to go,” said Folz. “The Vail Valley Foundation represents the whole community so we absolutely put in a bid for Vail’s time trial and then Beaver Creek start and we got a Beaver Creek finish and we’re happy about that.”
Race organizers said this was one of the larger finishing crowds they’ve seen so far in this year’s USA Pro Challenge.
Stage 5 of the race starts in Breckenridge on Friday and goes through Park and Teller Counties and finishes in downtown Colorado Springs. The race ends Sunday in Denver.