DENVER (CBS4) – The route for this year’s USA Pro Challenge cycling competition was announced on Tuesday and for the first time a stage will end on a mountaintop.

The professional cycling stage race takes place in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains Aug. 18-24. Officials with the event announced that Stage 3 will end on Monarch Mountain, “taking riders to unprecedented elevations.”

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

According to officials, the riders will be going to higher elevations than any of the Grand Tours, such as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.

“We’ve set out to create the greatest professional cycling event in the U.S. with the USA Pro Challenge,” race owner Rick Schaden said in a statement. “The 2014 route will be a challenge for the riders and will provide plenty of great viewing opportunities for the spectators. This year is looking like it will be the best yet.”

PHOTO GALLERY: USA Pro Challenge 2013

The race visits 10 host cities or towns in Colorado for the starts or finishes of each stage. This year’s race begins in Boulder.

“The two new locations joining the 2014 race — Monarch Mountain and Woodland Park — each offer breathtaking scenery that will add to the overall excitement,” race officials said. “Reaching a top elevation of 11,542 feet on Hoosier Pass, the race will include a total elevation gain of nearly 40,000 feet over the seven days. Two new mountains –McClure Pass and Kebler Pass — will help reach that number.”

Some of the highlights of the route include:

  • Snowmass Village
  • Kebler Pass
  • Aspen Valley
  • McClure Pass
  • Gunnison County Road 12
  • Mt. Crested Butte
  • Monarch Pass
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Mesa Road
  • Ridge Road
  • Woodland Park
  • Pike National Forest on Tarryall Road
  • Moonstone Road
  • Vail Pass


LINK: USA Pro Challenge Route


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