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Tough Day Of Climbing For USA Pro Challenge Riders

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The peloton climbs Rabbit Ears Pass on route to Steamboat Springs during Stage Three of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on August 21, 2013 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)

The peloton climbs Rabbit Ears Pass on route to Steamboat Springs during Stage Three of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on August 21, 2013 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)

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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — USA Pro Challenge riders are competing in what could be the toughest stage of the race.

Thursday’s 103-mile stage features five climbs, including one slightly longer than a mile to the finish in Beaver Creek.

Soon after the riders took off from Steamboat Springs, race staff reported that they had to remove a rattlesnake from the road about a mile ahead of the leaders.

Stretches of three highways will be closed at different points during the race — U.S. Highway 40 through Steamboat, Colorado Highway 131 northbound from Wolcott to Oak Creek and U.S. Highway 6 between Wolcott and Avon.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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