DENVER (CBS4) – The USA Pro Challenge named its host cities for the 2013 race on Wednesday, and cycling fans in Northern Colorado have reason to cheer.

The race starts in Aspen on Aug. 19 and stays in the high country until its sixth stage on Aug. 24, which will be in Loveland and Fort Collins. It will be the first time that a stage has been held in Larimer County.

“With the addition of Loveland and Fort Collins we are adding two cities that have built a community around the cycling culture,” race CEO and co-chairman Shawn Hunter said in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to incorporate their enthusiasm as we continue to showcase Colorado as the center of the nation’s cycling spirit.”

The third annual race will include stages in Steamboat Springs, Vail, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek, and it ends in Denver with a time trial on Aug. 25.

Christian Vandevelde of the Garmin-Sharp team was the winner of the 2012 race. He said he’s committed to competing in the 2013 race, and said he’s looking forward to “high-altitude climbs and the enthusiasm of the crowds.”

Race organizers revealed the following dates and stage descriptions:

Monday, Aug. 19, Stage 1 Aspen/Snowmass Circuit
Tuesday, Aug. 20, Stage 2 Aspen/Snowmass – Breckenridge
Wednesday, Aug. 21, Stage 3 Breckenridge – Steamboat Springs
Thursday, Aug. 22, Stage 4 Steamboat Springs – Beaver Creek
Friday, Aug. 23, Stage 5/ITT Vail Time Trial
Saturday, Aug. 24, Stage 6 Loveland – Fort Collins
Sunday, Aug. 25, Stage 7 Denver Circuit

Officials plan to release more information about the routes for each stage in the spring.

The race has drawn 1 million fans in each of its first two years and has generated “nearly $200 million in cumulative economic impact for the state,” according to race organizers.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement that the race is “essentially a week-long advertisement for our state with 128 of the best cyclists in the world acting as tour guides.”

LINK: USA Pro Challenge


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