DENVER (CBS4) – The announcement of next year’s host cities for the USA Pro Challenge on Monday came with a few surprises.
Organizers of the successful professional stage cycling race announced Aspen, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Breckenridge and Vail will all be host cities in the annual race that runs through Colorado.
However, the final stage will be opened up for a vote, and it could possibly mean Denver won’t be a host city in 2014. That would be a first for the race, which has included a Denver stage in each of its first three years of existance.
There are four scenarios that are now up for a vote on the race’s website. They are as follows:
– A circuit race in Denver, similar to previous years
– Golden to Denver
– Boulder to Golden
– Boulder to Denver
The race will also feature its first mountaintop finish with a stage ending atop Monarch Mountain. With a base elevation of 10,790 feet, it will be the highest stage in North America.
The complete announced stages and dates are as follows:
— Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 18 – Aspen Circuit Race
— Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 19 – Aspen to Mount Crested Butte
— Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 20 – Gunnison to Monarch Mountain
— Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 21 – Colorado Springs Circuit Race
— Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 22 – Woodland Park to Breckenridge
— Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 23 – Vail Individual Time Trial
— Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 24 – to be determined.
Some of the elite cyclists have long lobbied for a mountaintop finish.
“Colorado has some of the most beautiful mountains in the world and the USA Pro Challenge draws some of the best riders in the world, so it makes perfect sense to add in a challenging mountaintop finish,” said Tom Danielson of Team Garmin-Sharp.
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