Your Guide to the 2012
USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE • August 15-20 • $1.00
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Grand Depart: Where to watch
Parking, how to get around on race day
Tom Danielson: Fort Lewis grad earns Ph.D. in cycling
Schedule of local events
Teams and riders to watch
Durango bike mechanics face unique challenges
Festival marks opening of Twin Buttes singletrack
Maps of Durango parade route, daily stages
NBC TV schedule
The rest of the story – Beyond Stage 1
Challenge about more than just pros
CDOT to offer highway updates throughout race
Velo dictionnaire: Cycling terms to learn
Women pros to race in Aspen
Durango lands in focus Stage 1
Local cycling legacy grows with USA Pro Cycling Challenge By Joe Hanel Herald Denver Bureau
Online event coverage Visit durangoherald.com
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hilly does cheesesteaks. Hollywood makes movies. Florence, Italy, has some nice art.
Durango? Well, if you’re in town this week, you already know what Durango does. “Part of the reason Durango has a high profile for cycling events is because the community has taken ownership in them and is proud of them,” local cycling legend Ed Zink said. And that, in a nutshell, is why the best cyclists in the world are here for the start of the second annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge. This is far from the first big cycling event to wheel through town. Every year, 4,000 cyclists participate in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, which Zink cofounded in 1972 and directed for many years. Inside the cycling community, Durango long has enjoyed a sterling reputation. “We have as many world champions in mountain biking living in Durango as most nations have,” Zink said. So local organizers thought Durango was a natural for the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge last year – the first Colorado pro stage race since the days of the Coors Classic and the Red Zinger Classic. USA Pro cycling officials gave Durango high marks on its initial bid last year. But the trouble was, it takes a long time to get from Durango to just about anywhere, especially on a bike. So the route skipped Durango in 2011. But not in 2012.
Durango cycling organizers Zink, Gaige Sippy, Patty Zink (Ed’s wife) and Mo McElroy, of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, visited Crested Butte in 2011 check out the inaugural Colorado stage race in person. Durango Herald file photos Ed Zink of Durango, the godfather of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, said Durango’s cycling history and heritage helped land the start of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. director Gary Hunter said. “I expect I’ll be stripping beds about five minutes after everyevents here has left Durango This year, local organizers with ample expertise, local orga- body goes,” Hunter said. had a palpable sense that USA Everyone is working for the Pro officials really wanted their nizers said. “We have a trained population payoff, which extends beyond race to visit Durango, said Mary the 15-minute blur of color as the of volunteers,” Zink said. “If Monroe, who is co-chairwoman peleton passes through downthey show up and say, ‘We want of the local organizing committown and the college campus. this to happen,’ we’ve got huntee, along with Sherri Dugdale. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge dreds of people who say, ‘I know “I really feel they see the culclaimed an $83-million statewide ture, the community, geographi- how to do that.’” Those hundreds of people will economic impact in 2011. But orgacally the beauty and the talent nizers think the real effects will be be needed. In addition to the 60 of the people who live here,” harder to track. people on the local organizing Monroe said. “I think they The race will be televised thought, ‘We cannot do this race committee, some 600 volunteers worldwide, and cycling fans in will have pitched in before the without Durango and call it a some 180 countries will see Durace arrives, Monroe said. statewide race.’” rango on center stage. Fort Lewis College, with its Still, Monroe was thrilled Other start/finish cities for nationally renowned cycling when she became among the 2012 include Montrose, Crested program, provided a key elefirst to learn the race would Butte/Mount Crested Butte, ment for organizers – housing. start in her town. Aspen, Beaver Creek, BreckenSome athletes and hundreds “I think I probably still have ridge, Colorado Springs, Golden, of their support crew members the voicemail on my phone beBoulder and Denver. cause I was so excited,” she said. will stay at the college’s dorms “There will be more media opin the days before the race. The Durango was designated as college is making it happen even portunity worldwide for people The Grand Depart, the official though students will start show- to follow this than probably anystart of the 2012 USA Pro Cything that’s ever happened in ing up for the fall semester just cling Challenge. Durango,” Zink said. a day or two later, FLC athletic The long history of bike
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
RadioShack escorted Levi Leipheimer to victory in the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Leipheimer is riding for Omega Pharma this year.
The Grand Depart: Where to watch
All around Durango ... then to Telluride By Dale Strode
the place to be. There will be two peloton parade laps Herald Sports Writer along Durango’s Main Avenue and through the adStage 1 of the 2012 USA jacent residential neighborPro Cycling Challenge is hood after the 10 a.m. start here. to the stage. Planning is over; prepaThere will be a Monday rations are complete; racers morning climb up the legare ready. endary Front Hill to Fort Are you? With the inaugural stage Lewis College to get the of the 2012 Colorado profes- cyclists warmed up for the sional cycling stage race set first Sprint Line payout of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling to take off from downtown Challenge. The first cash Durango at 10 a.m. Monbonuses for the 2012 tour day, Aug. 20, cycling fans will be awarded on Duranare making their own race plans – like where to watch, go’s Main Avenue. But there’s more. when to watch and whom The cyclists also will to watch. circumnavigate Rim Drive Spectators in Durango around FLC campus. will have multiple opporThey’ll pedal around Hilltunities to watch the international field of top cyclists crest Golf Club (on new pavement). – up close. They’ll drop back down And downtown will be
into Durango on North College Drive before working their way out of town to the south, taking County Road 210 up to Lake Nighthorse. Then, it’s down Wildcat Canyon Road to U.S. Highway 160 for the climb to Hesperus – for the first King of the Mountain competition at the top of Hesperus Hill. Then, it’s on to Mancos, Dolores, Stoner, Rico, Ophir and – 125 miles later – the finish line in Telluride. That’s Stage 1. But there’s more. Viewing options in Durango will start at the start – Eighth and Main. The entire peloton will be on display before the 10 a.m. starting gun. Once they start rolling, the two parade laps will
begin with viewing all along the route. From Eighth and Main, the cyclists will ride south on Main to Fifth Street, then turn up Fifth Street by the train station to Third Avenue, Durango’s boulevard. The cyclists will ride Third Avenue north all the way to 12th Street, where they will turn down to Main Avenue to complete the parade loop. After two full loops downtown, defending champion Levi Leipheimer and the cyclists will ride down Main, turn up Fifth to Third and then turn north on College Drive, where the actual racing will begin. They will race up College Drive to Eighth Avenue, where they will turn left. That will take the peloton of the world’s top cyclists up the famed Front Hill to Fort Lewis College, a legendary climb in Durango’s lengthy cycling history. Once on campus, the cyclists will pedal around Rim Drive and around Hillcrest Golf Club to Goeglein Gulch Road. They’ll turn north and follow North College Drive down the hill to Florida Road. From Florida Road, it’s on to Third Avenue for a left turn. Down East Third Avenue, they’ll take a right on 12th Street for one block, then left on Main Avenue for the first Sprint Line payoff. The cyclists will leave Main this time by turning right on College Drive and then left on Camino del Rio where they will pedal to County Road 210, the road to Lake Nighthorse. After the climb past the
SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald file photo
All eyes in downtown Durango will be on Stage 1 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Monday, Aug. 20. The race will start at 10 a.m. lake, the cyclists will go right on Wildcat Canyon Road (County Road 141) back down the hill to U.S. Highway 160. Then it’s a left turn and up the hill to Hesperus, on to Mancos, north to Dolores, on up Lizard Head Pass and down to the finish of Stage 1 in downtown Telluride. That’s 125 miles to kick off the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. But there’s more. “I think the route highlights everything that is Durango cycling,” said Dave Hagen, co-chairman of the technical committee for the Durango stage and director of the FLC cycling program. “And Durango will have exposure on television every day with the start here,” Hagen said. “The crowds watching the climb up the Front Hill should be spectacular,” he said, anticipating Durango’s customary spirited turnout for cycling events. “Going up to the college ... going up the Front Hill, you’ve got to do that,” said Hagen, who has produced multiple cycling events in Durango’s downtown core. While many will opt to watch the cyclists as they tour downtown Durango and FLC, other spectators
are expected to gather along the route. High-point locations where spectators can watch the cyclists make an extended climb were popular last year during the first USA Pro Cycling Challenge. That means locations up near Lake Nighthorse and at the top of Hesperus Hill will make good viewing locations. En route to Mancos, one big vantage point will be at Madden Peak Road. Between Mancos and Dolores, several long-range views are available of the race course. Then, of course, the climb up Lizard Head Pass will attract race fans. The finish in downtown Telluride will be the last best viewing locale. But there’s more. In conjunction with the event, large video screens will be around the start venue at Eighth Street and Main Avenue, and at Buckley Park. Race spectators, after watching the racers spin by in person, can watch the rest of the race on jumbo video screens at the cycling expo at Buckley Park. That’s right across the street from The Durango Herald.
2012 USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
Free parking will be available at high school, mall, college, Twin Buttes
to the west; and at Fort Lewis College on the east. Free shuttle buses will take spectators from those parking lots to the Transit Center downtown. From there, spectators can walk to the race course or take a shuttle to the Fort Lewis College campus. The shuttles, which will include local school buses and other resort
Park for free and take a shuttle to the Transit Center downtown Durango
Free parking locations
Colleg e Dr.
ca t C any on Rd .
For more information, visit the local website for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge: www.durango2012.com.
buses, will include a host or hostess to answer questions, direct visitors to downtown locations and provide historical tidbits. The free shuttles to and from the parking lots will run continuously on race day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking in the downtown core will be limited severely by street closures for the race. In addition, there will be special bicycle parking with valets in the downtown core. People are encouraged to ride bikes to the race.
Race day dilemma: Where to park in Durango? In effort to simplify parking on race day, organizers of Durangoâ€™s opening USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage developed a parking shuttle plan. There will be free parking at four locations with free shuttle service to the downtown area. Free parking will be available at the Durango Mall on the south end of the city; at Durango High School and La Plata County Fairgrounds on the north; at Twin Buttes
Fairgrounds, Durango High School
Fort Lewis College
Transit Center Durango Mall
Twin Buttes 1 Mile
2012 USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
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Ave. E. 4th
Fort Lewis College
11th St. 10th St. 9th S t.
8th S t. 7th S t. Drive
5th S t. 4th S t. 3rd S t.
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Monday, Aug. 20 2 to 11 a.m.: Downtown closes within the perimeter (Main to Fifth Street to East Third Avenue to 12th Street) 2 to 11 a.m.: Narrow Gauge east to East Third Avenue (southbound
Downtown Street closure area
ve. E. 2n d Ave . E. 3rd Ave.
Sunday, Aug. 19 8 a.m. to Monday noon: Westbound 12th Street at Main Avenue to Narrow Gauge. 8 a.m. to Monday noon: Westbound 11th Street between alley and Main Avenue. 10 to 11 a.m. Monday: Main closed from 12th Street to College Drive. 10 to 11 a.m. Monday: Main closed from College Drive to Fifth Street east of alley.
only); Narrow Gauge closed Fifth to 14th streets. East Third Avenue northbound will remain open until 9:45 a.m. then will be closed until about 10:20 a.m. College Drive will remain open until 9:45 a.m. and then will be closed until 10:30 a.m. Main Avenue alley east access for emergency delivery and equipment will be permitted going north on race day only from College Drive, but not recommended. Exit the area east to Second Avenue (except Eighth Street), then go south to College Drive. Narrow Gauge will be restricted to VIP parking and access only on race day. At 9:45 a.m., College Drive, Eighth Avenue, Rim Drive, North College Drive and Florida Road will160 be closed until the last chase vehicle passes. Roads will reopen no later than 10:20 a.m. By 4 p.m., all streets should be open with the possible exception of the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Main and 12th and 13th streets.
Saturday, Aug. 18 Starting at 4 p.m.: 700 through 900 blocks of Main Avenue from Narrow Gauge to the alley between Main and Second avenues.
STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald file photo
Tom Danielson will ride on familiar roads when the USA Pro Cycling Challenge starts in Durango on Monday, Aug. 20. Danielson finished fourth in the 2011 Pro Cycling Challenge.
Fort Lewis graduate earns Ph.D. in cycling By Dale Strode Herald Sports Writer
The first time Tom Danielson rode up the hill to Fort Lewis College, he was on his way to class – a business class. And he was riding a mountain bike. The soonto-be national collegiate mountain bike champion bypassed the pavement and opted for the singletrack trail back then. But the next time Danielson rides up the hill to Fort Lewis College on Monday, Aug. 20, he’ll be on a state-of-the-art road bike, and he could be teaching ACC 225, Intro to Financial Accounting. Danielson, the Fort Lewis College business graduate who has gone on to earn a doctorate in professional bicycle racing, will show off his college hometown to 130 of his pro cycling colleagues when the USA Pro Cycling
Challenge kicks off the 2012 edition with the Grand Depart in Durango. The race’s Stage 1 will take the peloton right past the classrooms where Danielson earned his degree on the roads where Danielson earned his stripes as a cyclist. “This year’s edition of the USA Pro Challenge is extra special for me,” Danielson said in a telephone interview with The Durango Herald. “As a professional athlete, when the big race is in your home state, it’s special,” Danielson said as he continued recovery from crashes that forced him out of the recent Tour de France. “This year, of course, it starts in Durango. I’m actually staying in a Fort Lewis College dorm like I did (as a student),” Danielson said. “I can’t think of a better way to start the Challenge this
year.” A return trip to Durango and Fort Lewis College last fall revived Danielson’s feelings about his college town. “Last fall, when I went back to Durango, there were incredible vibes in Durango. I really had a motivating week when I was there,” he said of his appearance at the Durango Fall Blaze, an annual fund-raiser for the Tom Danielson Cycling Scholarships at Fort Lewis. “Everyone was ... so gracious. For me, I spent a big part of my cycling life in Durango,” Danielson said. “That’s where it all started for me in terms of the road.” Add the fact that the penultimate stage of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will finish on Flagstaff Mountain outside his current hometown of Boulder, and Danielson is doubly inspired.
ing in Colorado. “One thing about Tom, he can train. He trains really well,” his coach said with reference to Danielson’s legendary workout statistics. “He’s planning on doing the Tour of Utah ... It’s a very good prep race for the Pro Challenge because of the altitude,” Crawford said. “He has a lot of mojo ... unfulfilled mojo. He’ll carry that into the Pro Challenge,” said Crawford, who watched his young collegiate mountain biker move into the ranks of professional road racer. Danielson won an individual national mountain bike championship in college. And he was part of a team that won a national title. “Team racing really starts in collegiate cycling,” Danielson said last fall when he was in town for the annual Durango Fall Blaze benefit bike ride. “That’s where the fundamentals ... of team (racing) start,” Danielson said. “Cycling is an individual sport, but it takes the team to put (individuals) in a place to excel,” he said. “You have to work together – rely on each other to solve problems. Collegiate cycling is a perfect start. And if someone excels in a team environment in college, it makes him more valuable (as a pro rider),” said Danielson, who first rode with the Sobe/Headshok pro team on the road. He graduated to Team Mercury, immediately winning the Estes Cycling Challenge in Estes Park. In the interim, Danielson won the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic road race from Durango to Silverton in record time – an unofficial record that still stands.
And two months into his professional career, Danielson won his first international stage race in China. He added the hill climb record at Mount Washington in New Hampshire, breaking the mark of former University of Colorado ski racer Tyler Hamilton. He broke the record on Colorado’s Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb, too. Danielson moved up to Team Saturn. He again won internationally, taking the general classification in the Tour de Langkawi. He later added the overall title in the Tour of Georgia with then-Discovery teammate Lance Armstrong. Danielson went on to win a stage of the Vuelta a España as part of the Discovery team. The Fort Lewis graduate moved to the Italian team Fasso Bortolo, where he was beset by injuries and illness. But a relocation to Boulder and an affiliation with Slipstream Sports and Garmin put Danielson back on track. And back on roads that will be familiar when the USA Pro Cycling Challenge makes its way around Colorado. Danielson, who was the poster boy for the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, finished fourth last year, just off the podium. “I’m super motivated this year. I was so angry with the Tour de France and how it went down,” Danielson said. “So when I got back to Colorado, I just started working hard.” His coach wasn’t the first to notice. “This is the race ... he really wants,” Crawford said.
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“The climb up Flagstaff, my very favorite climb ... I’ve done it a million times,” said Danielson, who is the unofficial record-holder for the fastest ascent of Flagstaff. “I fought hard to get that climb in the race,” said Danielson, who worked equally hard with race organizers to land a stage in Durango. “So starting in Durango ... and a finish in Boulder. That will make this a special race for me,” Danielson said. “In his heart, the USA Pro Challenge is the (race) he really wants,” said Rick Crawford, Danielson’s current coach and his former coach while at Fort Lewis College. Crawford recently took over as director of cycling for Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. “Tom’s still banged up pretty bad,” Crawford said. Danielson crashed out of the recent Tour de France with not one but two separated shoulders suffered in crashes on consecutive days. “He didn’t take much time off ... He was back on his bike a few days later,” Crawford said. “But he had major (shoulder) injuries.” Crawford said Danielson returned to his home in Boulder, where he resumed training after the frustration of France. A year earlier, Danielson was the highest finishing American (eighth) in the 2011 Tour de France. “We’re looking for a silver lining ... after crashing out early (in the Tour de France),” Crawford said. Without the pounding of three weeks of intense racing, Crawford said Danielson will be able to compensate with train-
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Durango event schedule THURSDAY, AUG. 16 WHAT: Tutu to Brew. Bike parade and beer festival from Buckley Park in downtown Durango down the Animas River Trail to Ska Brewing World Headquarters. Parade will leave Buckley Park at 5:30 p.m. WHEN: 5:30-8 p.m. WHERE: Buckley Park/Ska Brewing WHAT: “The Bicycle Men,” a musical comedy about a hapless American tourist who crashes on his bicycle and encounters interesting inhabitants of a quaint French village. Tickets: $22. WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Durango Arts Center
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FRIDAY, AUG. 17 WHAT: Bicycle sculpture dedication WHEN: 3 p.m. WHERE: Florida Road roundabout WHAT: “The Bicycle Men.” (See Thursday.) WHEN: 5 p.m. WHERE: Durango Arts Center
Associated Press file photo
With six top-tier teams in the field, the peloton likely will stay together for many stages in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Sixteen teams in all will race this year.
and Western vendors. WHEN: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Durango train depot What: Start festival. Live music, food, New Belgium beer, cycling goods for sale, bike demos, a kids zone and the JumboTron with rider interviews and highlights from the inaugural 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. WHEN: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Where: Fort Lewis College WHAT: Kids Bike Rodeo. Different stations for kids to highlight skills training, helmet fitting, bike maintenance, along with a photo opportunity with some of the pro cyclists. WHERE: Fort Lewis College WHEN: 12-3 p.m.
WHAT: Grand open house WHEN: 5-9 p.m. WHERE: Downtown Durango
WHAT: Let’s Get it Started. A gala and team presentation hosted by celebrity announcers Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll. WHEN: 5 p.m. WHERE: Fort Lewis College
WHAT: True West Railfest outdoor movie screening of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” WHEN: 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Durango train depot
WHAT: “The Bicycle Men.” (See Thursday for details.) WHEN: 5 p.m. WHERE: Durango Arts Center
SATURDAY, AUG. 18
WHAT: It’s a Real Butte Mountain Bike Race and Trail Run. An endurance running and mountain biking race hosted by Trails 2000. For more information, visit www.trails2000.org. WHERE: Twin Buttes When: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
SUNDAY, AUG. 19 WHAT: Start Festival. (See Saturday.) WHERE: Fort Lewis College
WHAT: Pro Challenge Experience Citizens Bicycle Ride. The Big Ride is a 72.75-mile ride that will start in downtown Durango with a loop of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge start. What: True West Railfest. Quick draw Riders then will head out to Wildcat Canyon before returning to Durango
for a ride to Durango Mountain Resort. They will return to Durango by U.S. Highway 550 with a final climb to the finish festival at Fort Lewis College. The Durango-to-DMR ride is a shorter, 45-mile option, with a finish festival at the ski resort. WHEN: 9 a.m. WHERE: Start downtown Durango What: True West Railfest. (See Saturday.) WHEN: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Durango train depot WHAT: “The Bicycle Men.” (See Thursday.) WHEN: 2 p.m., 7 p.m. WHERE: Durango Arts Center WHAT: Downtown street party. Food, beer garden, dancing, live entertainment by Andrea’s Fault, Kirk James Band, Ralph Dinosaur and the High Rollers. WHEN: 4-9 p.m. WHERE: Main Avenue
MONDAY, AUG. 20 WHAT: Race Day Start Festival. Food, exhibits and race viewing on the JumboTron video display. WHEN: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. WHERE: Downtown Durango at 12th Street and Main Avenue, and at Buckley Park. WHAT: Opening ceremonies WHEN: 8 a.m. WHERE: Main Avenue WHAT: Race start WHEN: 10 a.m. WHERE: Main Avenue
2012 USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
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UCI ProTeams Six of the 16 teams competing are from cycling’s highest level – UCI Pro Teams. Five are ranked as UCI Professional Continental Teams, the next highest level. Five are classified as UCI Continental Teams. ➤➤Astana Pro Team (Kazakhstan) ➤➤BMC Racing Team (U.S.) ➤➤Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda (U.S.) ➤➤Liquigas-Cannondale (Italy) ➤➤Omega Pharma-QuickStep (Belgium) ➤➤RadioShack-Nissan-Trek (Luxembourg) ➤➤UCI Professional Continental Teams ➤➤Champion System Pro Cycling Team (China) ➤➤RusVelo (Russia) ➤➤Team SpiderTech powered by C10 (Canada)
➤➤Team Type 1-SANOFI (U.S.) ➤➤UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (U.S.) ➤➤UCI Continental Teams ➤➤Bissell Pro Cycling (U.S.) ➤➤Bontrager Livestrong Team (U.S.) ➤➤EPM-UNE (Colombia) ➤➤Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (U.S.) ➤➤Team Exergy (U.S.)
10 cyclists to watch
Levi Leipheimer, Omega Pharma. The champion of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge last year when he rode for Radio Shack. Leipheimer won two stages in 2011 – the Salida to Crested Butte road stage and the Vail time trial. He finished 32nd in the recent Tour de France as he recovered from a broken leg suffered when he was struck by a car on a training ride.
Tejay van Garderen, BMC. The Montana native and Boulder resident finished third in the 2011 USA Pro Challenge, just 17 seconds behind Leipheimer. Van Garderen won the young riders classification of the recent Tour de France, where he finished fifth overall – the highest finishing American.
Christian VandeVelde, GarminSharp-Barracuda. A wise and experienced veteran of the Garmin squad, the Illinois native finished second to Leipheimer in the USA Pro Challenge last year. He finished 60th in the 2012 Tour de France.
George Hincapie, BMC. The elder statesman of U.S. cycling, Hincapie completed a record 17th Tour de France this year. One of the most popular cyclists in the peloton, Hincapie won the Silver Queen Stage last year in a sprint in downtown Aspen. He was fifth overall in the 2011 USA Pro Challenge. The 2012 USA Pro Challenge will be his last race.
Elia Viviani, Liquigas-Cannondale. The Italian stallion on the Italian team, Viviani won back-to-back stages in the 2011 USA Pro Challenge. He won sprint finishes in Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge.
Cadel Evans, BMC. The Australian cycling legend – a former world mountain bike champion – finished seventh in the USA Pro Challenge last year, less than a month after winning the 2011 Tour de France. The last time he raced in Durango, he was on a mountain bike.
Tim Duggan, Liquigas-Cannondale. The Boulder-based cyclist recently won the USA Cycling national road racing championship. He’ll ride with the powerhouse Liquigas team this year. Rory Sutherland, United Healthcare. The 30-year-old Australian finished 10th overall in the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. He’s the reigning overall champion in the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico. He also won the Tour de Beuce stage race in Canada.
Jens Voigt, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek. The popular 40-year-old cyclist from Germany will return to the 2012 USA Pro Challenge. A huge fan favorite, Voigt finished 52nd in the 2012 Tour de France.
Tom Danielson, GarminSharp-Barracuda. The former Durango resident and Fort Lewis College graduate will enjoy hometown support for Stage 1 of the USA Pro Challenge. The face of the 2011 stage race in Colorado, Danielson finished in fourth place – just off the podium.
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Teams test new equipment on Colorado tour By Dale Strode
“So they are going to be on their standard road bikes.” Herald Sports Writer He said that the nature of the stage from Durango to Telluride The bicycle mechanics – the indicates the cyclists will use unsung hero-technicians behind the riders in the USA Pro Cycling standard gearing packages. “There aren’t going to be anyChallenge – will face their regular bike racing challenges along with thing radical in terms of gearing,” Neb said. a couple situations unique to the “There is some climbing, but Colorado stage race. “For the start stage here in Du- there are a lot of flat roads in berango, it will be a pretty straight- tween,” Neb said, adding that the climbs in North America are not forward deal for the mechanics,” said Tom Neb of San Juan Cycles nearly as steep as some climbs in Europe. in Durango. “Their regular gear packNeb recently worked for USA age will be more than sufficient Cycling at the London Olympic Games, where he served as a bike here,” Neb said. The world-class riders won’t mechanic. need super climbing gears for the “It’s a road stage, a basic road 2012 stages. stage. It’s not a time trial, which “These guys are professional uses special (bikes),” Neb said.
riders. And they are so fit,” Neb said. Basically, the riders in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge could ride a Huffy 3-speed to Telluride and manage just fine. “Really, they are so good,” Neb said. He said North American road builders have been limited with a maximum grade of 7 or 8 percent. In Europe, grades can be much steeper. “That’s another reason you won’t see anything crazy in the gearing for this race,” Neb said. The only significant equipment change the teams will face before the concluding time trial in Denver on Sunday, Aug. 26, will come on the Silver Queen Stage between Gunnison and Denver on
JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald
Tom Neb of San Juan Cycles in Durango said bike mechanics will face a challenging week at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge because of the logistics involved Wednesday, Aug. 22. That stage will include almost 14 miles of dirt and gravel on Cottonwood Pass. “That will be a unique stage,”
Neb said. “That’s where you’ll see ... heavier tires.” He said the current trend is for riders to go with a wider tire on dirt surfaces.
2012 USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
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Durango Cyclery 143 E. 13th St. 6 Boarding Haus BMX Repair 2607 Main Ave. 7 Hassle Free Sports 2615 Main Ave. 8
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Flo rida Rd.
E. C olle ge D r.
Teams also may experiment with different tire combinations on that stage as well as others in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Neb said. Different wheels also will be used, particularly on the dirt section of Cottonwood Pass. Teams also are experimenting with electronic shifting this year, powered by a small battery attached to the underside of the bicycle frame, Neb said. Hydraulic disc brakes also are being tested by road racing teams, the Durango-based bike mechanic said. The other biggest challenge for the bike mechamics, Neb said, will be logistics. “You are working crazy long days,” he said, adding that the bike mechanics on the 2012 USA Pro tour
Ninth S t. College Dr. Durango Herald
will be in Durango, Telluride and Montrose on the first day of racing alone. They’ll be in Montrose and Crested Butte the second day of the race.
“It’s hectic. That’s the challenge of being a road mechanic,” he said. dstrode@durangoherald. com
Career launching • Life changing • Cycling crazy
By Dale Strode
race also will be held with two-person teams and indiHerald Sports Writer vidual. The trail races will Let the celebration begin include a 30-kilometer – Twin Buttes is open. run and a 10K. There are To help celebrate the divisions for three-person opening of a network of teams in the 30K as well as mountain bike trails in solo divisions. the Twin Buttes area west Registration information of Durango, Trails 2000 is available at the website will sponsor the Durango trails2000.org. Trails Festival on SaturMaps also are accessible day, Aug. 18. on the website. The community celebraCamping is available at tion is a part of the buildup Twin Buttes for those racto Stage 1 of the USA Pro Durango Herald file photo ing. Organizers will escort Cycling Challenge, schedMountain bike races, part of the campers to their camp uled to start from Durango Durango Trails Festival, will mark spots from noon to 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20. the opening of the Twin Buttes Friday, Aug. 17 and from “The timing is perfect,” trail system. 6:30 to 7 a.m. Saturday, said Mary Monroe, direcAug. 18. The festival, also called tor of Trails 2000 and coThere also are spaces for chairwoman of the Duran- “It’s a Real Butte,” will large RVs. include short and long go organizing committee There are no electric or mountain bike races and for the USA Pro Cycling sewer hookups. trail races. Challenge. All other vehicles will be “We’re encouraging peo“We’ve been able to parked at the Twin Buttes ple to sign up as teams,” build 10 new miles of sinmain entrance. gletrack ... there’s a brand Monroe said. “We want The race course will be people to see the trails.” new network of trails at open for inspection startShe said there will be Twin Buttes,” Monroe hikes led by MK Thompson ing Friday night. said. “And it’s just beautiRacers can pick up their of the San Juan Mountains ful up there.” registration packets at the Association. She said the area beAnd, Monroe said, Sarah Backspace Theatre after 2 tween Lake Nighthorse, Tescher of Durango DEVO p.m. Friday. Perins Peak and Lightner Racing will begin at 8 Creek is a significant addi- will lead a kids scavenger a.m. Saturday. hunt at Twin Buttes. tion to the trail system in Course maps also are Monroe said the trail the greater Durango area. available online at www. “The most essential part complex is an excellent trails2000.org. area for family mountain is the area is open to the Sponsors for the event public. The trails are ready biking and hiking. include: Osprey, Mercy There will be a six-lap to go,” Monroe said. Regional Medical Center, endurance mountain bike “We wanted to make a race with divisions for solo BP and Rakita Tomsic community event to celPhysical Therapy with asmen and women, threeebrate the opening of the person teams and three- or sistance from Durango Motrails,” Monroe said. torless Transit, Adaptive four-person coed teams. Thus, she said, the DuThere also is a singlespeed Sports and La Plata Search rango Trails Festival and and Rescue. division. its multitude of events A two-lap mountain bike were born.
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2012 USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
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Fort Lewis College Cycling Village
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begins on the third downtown lap. Cyclists will break off the loop course and turn right on College Drive before another left turn onto Eighth Avenue and the climb up the front hill to Fort Lewis College. They will pedal around Rim Drive and around Hillcrest Club to Goeglein Gulch Road. Then, itâ€™s down the hill to Florida Road for a rapid return to downtown Durango via Third Avenue to 12th Street to Main Avenue where the raceâ€™s first sprint line is located. Racers will exit downtown Durango by way of Camino del Rio to Country Road, the road to Nighthorse Reservoir.
The Grand Depart to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will begin on Main Avenue in downtown Durango. Starting at Eighth and Main, the cyclists will make two neutral, parade laps through downtown Durango. They will ride south on Main Avenue to Fifth Street, turning left and riding up to Third Avenue. Another left turn, and the cyclists will pedal north on Third Avenue to 12th Street at Buckley Park. Left again, and the cyclists will ride down to Main for another lefthand turn. The cyclists will repeat the downtown loop before the racing
2 parade laps Race circuit Sprint line
160 in o d Cam S.
Christian Vande Velde rides to a second-place finish in the prologue of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Kevin Kreck/Associated Press
Colleg e Driv e
2012 USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE
Stage 1• Durango to Telluride
Lizard Head Pass
7 Telluride FINISH
• • •
Durango to Denver
683 miles 47,000 combined vertical feet of climbing 9 mountain passes
STAGE 1 Monday, Aug. 20 Durango to Telluride 125.6 miles
Tuesday, Aug. 21 Montrose to Crested Butte 99.2 miles
Wednesday, Aug. 22 Silver Queen Stage: Gunnison to Aspen 130.5 miles
KOM (King of the Mountain)
Mancos Weber Fire area
Thursday, Aug.23 Aspen to Beaver Creek 97.2 miles
Wildcat Canyon Rd.
2 CR 210
140 CR 141
Friday, Aug. 24 Breckenridge to Colorado Springs 117.9 miles
Saturday, Aug. 25 Golden to Boulder 103.3 miles
8,700 feet 6,850 feet
Lizard Head Pass Summit
Sunday, Aug. 26 Downtown Denver 19.5-miles individual time trial
Herald Staff Report
Under its new broadcast partnership with the NBC Sports Network and NBC, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will enjoy 29 hours of televised coverage this year. The coverage will open with the Grand Depart, the start of the first stage in Durango on Monday, Aug. 20. Daily coverage is scheduled on NBC Sports Network. There will be added weekend coverage on the NBC network – two hours on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25-26. It will mark the most television coverage of any cycling event in the United States. Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the internationally known voices of cycling, will provide race commentary. Durango’s Bob Roll, a former racer and longtime cycling commentator, will be the in-race reporter. The day before the race, NBC Sports Network will air a one-hour preview show at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19.
Associated Press file photo
Cyclists will face nearly 14 miles of dirt and gravel on Cottonwood Pass again this year. The rest of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge’s 683 miles will be on pavement.
Television Schedule (Mountain Daylight Time) Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 20 – Durango to Telluride – 2 p.m. (NBC Sports Network) Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 21 – Montrose to Crested Butte/ Mount Crested Butte – 2 p.m. (NBC Sports Network) Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 22 – Gunnison to Aspen – 2 p.m. (NBC Sports Network) Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 23 – AsBefore the race each day, except Sunday, NBC Sports Network will offer profiles of the cyclists during a
pen to Beaver Creek/Vail Village – 2 p.m. (NBC Sports Network) Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 24 – Breckenridge to Colorado Springs – 2 p.m. (NBC Sports Network) Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 25 – Golden to Boulder – noon-2 p.m. (NBC); 2-4 p.m. (NBC Sports Network) Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 26 – Denver Individual Time Trial – noon-2 p.m. (NBC Sports Network); 2-4 p.m. (NBC)
30-minute show at 1:30 p.m. Highlights of the stages will be featured each day at 9 p.m.
Nathan Bilow/Associated Press file photo
Walter Morales Pedraza of Columbia was the first to the summit of Cottonwood Pass (12,126 feet) in 2011. Riders must negotiate nearly 14 miles of dirt road on Cottonwood Pass.
From Telluride to Denver by eight mountain passes By Dale Strode Herald Sports Writer
Durango to Telluride is only the beginning for the cyclists in the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. There still will be six stages and 557.4 miles to go to the finish in Denver on Sunday, Aug. 26. That’s one more stage than the inaugural 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge offered. Here’s a look at the rest of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge:
Stage 2 Tuesday, Aug. 21, Montrose to Crested Butte: The 99-mile stage will start with a new section from Montrose east over Cerro Summit and Blue Mesa Summit to Gunnison, location of the stage’s first Sprint Line. Then cyclists will retrace the 2011 route up the highway from Gunnison to Crest-
ed Butte before the grueling uphill finish at Mount Crested Butte. First, cyclists will contest the day’s second Sprint Line in historic downtown Crested Butte. A two-mile climb to the finish at the ski resort will close the stage – the key stage last year where eventual winner Levi Leipheimer won and took the leader’s jersey.
will leave the pavement again this year. Nearly 14 miles of dirt and gravel over Cottonwood Pass (12,126 feet) are next as cyclists pedal to the highest point of the week. After the twisting descent into Buena Vista, the pack will turn north on U.S. Highway 24 to Twin Lakes, where they will turn for the long climb up Independence Pass (12,095 feet). The rapid descent of Independence Pass will take riders to the finish in downtown Aspen, where George Hincapie won the stage in 2011. A women’s pro race will finish in Aspen before the finishing of the USA Pro Cycling State.
Wednesday, Aug. 22, Gunnison to Aspen: Tabbed the Silver Queen Stage with its double challenge of Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass, the route spans 130.5 grueling miles – with lots and lots of climbing. From Gunnison, the first Sprint Line is in the tiny Stage 4 community of Almont. Then, cyclists will contest Thursday, Aug. 23, Aspen to the first King of the MounBeaver Creek: Cyclists will tain near Taylor Park Reservoir, where the cyclists See Page 22
2012 USA PRO CYCLING CHALLENGE Continued from 21 confront an elevation test in Stage 4, the 97.2-mile run from Aspen to Beaver Creek (near Vail). Most of the stage will be above 9,000 feet. And it will start with a grueling climb right out of Aspen back up Independence Pass. After the early climb, the cyclists will descend the other side of Independence Pass before racing to a Sprint Line in downtown Leadville, the highest incorporated city in the United States at 10,152 feet. After climbing to the Continental Divide at Tennessee Pass (10,424 feet), the course will descend into Minturn by way of Battle Mountain on a recently repaired U.S. Highway 24.. A final climb up to
Beaver Creek resort will close the stage.
Stage 5 Friday, Aug. 24, Breckenridge to Colorado Springs: Hoosier Pass (11,542) will greet the riders in the fifth stage, a 117.9-mile pull to Colorado Springs. The riders will descend to Fairplay and work their way to a Sprint Line in Woodland Park, where the riders are expected to hit the highest speeds of the race. They’ll also pass by the devastation of the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs. The finish awaits in downtown Colorado Springs after a trip through Garden of the Gods. And there will be three finishing circuits in downtown Colorado Springs to
showcase the field.
Stage 6 Saturday, Aug. 25, Golden to Boulder: Colorado’s classic climbs will take the stage in Stage 6, a 103.3-mile route that starts in Golden and finishes outside Boulder on Flagstaff Mountain. The day’s first Sprint Line will be in downtown Boulder near Pearl Street Mall. The first King of the Mountain competition will be at Nederland, up Colorado Highway 119. After flashing along the famed Peak to Peak Highway, the cyclists will ride down to Lyons. The classic climbs up Lefthand Canyon and Lee Hill Road will be next before the riders head back to downtown Boulder.
JOHN PIERCE/USPCC /PhotoSport International
Dale Strode/Durango Herald file photo
Cyclists will ride past state Capitol building in Denver on the final stage of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. But this year, the Denver stage will be an individual time trial. A final, dramatic climb up Flagstaff Mountain to the finish at Sunrise Am-
In the 2011 Pro Challenge, the Garden of the Gods area near Colorado Springs served as the start for the opening prologue. The area is again part of this year’s Challenge. phitheater will close the penultimate stage.
Stage 7 Sunday, Aug. 26, downtown Denver: The USA Pro Cycling Challenge’s Race of Truth will wrap up the 2012 tour. A 19.5-mile indi-
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vidual time trial in Denver will determine the final finish order. The course will be the same as last year’s closing circuit around the State Capitol and Civic Center Park.
JOE HANEL/Durango Herald file photo
Garmin Sharp Barracuda team cyclist Peter Stetina took time to sign autographs before the first stage of the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Salida. The 2012 version of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will start in Durango on Monday, Aug. 20.
Herald Staff Writer
As if the USA Pro Cycling Challenge isn’t enough, event organizers have put together a slew of other races and events for tourists, bike fanatics and local residents. Festivities leading up to the professional bike race will start Thursday, Aug. 16. The race will begin Monday, Aug. 20, which forced Durango School District 9-R to postpone the first day of school until Tuesday, Aug. 21. For people with an affinity for the arts, the Durango Arts Center will present “The Bicycle Men,” a musical comedy about an American tourist who crashes his bike. The play sold out in London, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago before making its way to Durango. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased online at www. durangoarts.org. In its first official event, Twin Buttes will host mountain bike and endurance running races on Aug. 18. Featured are two mountain bike races, a 30-kilometer trail run and a 10K trail run. Participants also can camp on private land at Twin Buttes. About 100 camping spots are available. To register for the event, visit www. trails2000.org. Youngsters who want to be the next USA Pro Cycling Challenge champion can attend a community bike rodeo from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Fort Lewis College softball fields. Kids will
Shaun Stanley/Durango Herald file photo
A bike parade from Buckley Park to Ska Brewing will help put Durango in the spirit of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The parde will kick off events at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16. (Aug. 19) before the race from 4 to 9 p.m., with food, For a list of events in Durango during the leadup and day of beer stands and live music the challenge, see Page 10. from Andrea’s Fault, Kirk James Band, Ralph Dinolearn bike safety skills, bike saur and the High Rollers. “We wanted to have the etiquette and proper helmet Pro Challenge experience,” fitting. said Mary Monroe, a memSeveral professional cyclists are expected to attend ber of Durango’s local orthe event, and kids who log ganizing committee. Fireworks reserved for their total miles ridden will the Fourth of July celebrareceive a medal. tion that was canceled will Want to experience the be set off at 9:15 p.m. ride the professionals will Sunday, Aug. 19. be making around DuMain Avenue will be rango? Race organizers closed from Fifth to 10th created the Pro-Challenge streets for the downtown Experience, a 72.75-mile ride that will start at 7 a.m. block party. Local businesses and orSunday, Aug. 19, in downganizers collaborated to put town Durango with a loop together the Race Day Start the professionals make in Festival, which will begin the actual race. Riders will go up Wildcat Canyon, then at 7 a.m. in Buckley Park return to downtown before and will remain open until 5 p.m. Breakfast burritos, making the trek up to Ducoffee and a video display rango Mountain Resort. from the JumboTron of the The ride will end with a opening stage will be festival at FLC. available. If you’re not quite up “A lot of local organizato the almost 73-mile trek, there is a 45-mile route that tions are working together to pull off these events,” finishes with a festival at said Kristen Muraro, DMR. A downtown street party events coordinator for Ska Brewing Co. will be held Sunday night
Let's Get This Party Started!
By Jordyn Dahl
Months of Training Bike That Takes You to the Finish Line Spandex That’s Loud and Proud Fans Who Adore You Bank You Can Count On
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Crowd management plan implemented for penultimate stage By Mitchell Byars Boulder Daily Camera
BOULDER – The race to the finish line of the Boulder stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is days away, but the chance for fans to secure a spot at the finish is here. Wristbands for those who want to watch the Flagstaff Mountain finish of Stage 6 of the elite race at the end of the month are available at various locations throughout Boulder. Boulder will be hosting the second-to-last day of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Saturday, Aug. 25, with the stage finish taking place on Flagstaff Mountain. Those who want to watch the finish will be required to wear a
special Tyvek wristband that lists the rules and code of conduct for access to the mountain. The wristbands are free. Each person will be limited to five and must read and abide by the code of conduct. Concerns about crowds creating a fire hazard and trashing Boulder open space prompted officials to put the guidelines into place. “We appreciate how the race organizers have been sensitive to the needs and concerns of open space, and we believe the wristbands and code of conduct – developed by the Local Organizing Committee in coordination with the city – will be an important tool for both educating spectators and managing the overall num-
bers on Flagstaff,” said Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam in a statement. While handing out wristbands at the Boulder Cycling Lounge on the Twenty Ninth Street Mall, Julie Hudetz, of Cycling Soul – which was contracted by the local organizing committee – said most of the people picking up wristbands have been understanding of the code of conduct and the five-bracelet limit. “People have been very reasonable,” she said. “The important thing for us is to have the race finish on Flagstaff Mountain but to maintain the integrity of Flagstaff.” Hudetz said she already has given out a large amount of wristbands to eager race fans
of all sorts. “We just had some junior cyclists come in and pick up some,” she said. “People are really excited about it.” Alec Uitti of Boulder picked up four wristbands for his wife and two friends from the Cycling Lounge after seeing them while walking past the store. He said he watched the Aspen stage of last year’s race and was excited to hear it was coming through Boulder this year. “Even though the cyclists pass you in about a minute, the great thing is it’s thousands upon thousands of other people who love the sport and are screaming their heads off,” he said. “Being in a group of people who are so enthusiastic about it, it almost brought me to tears last time.”
Event information websites Durango Herald www.durangoherald.com Durango events www.durango2012.com USA Pro Cycling Challenge www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com Colorado Department of Transportation www.cotrip.org Velonews Magazine www.velonews.com Cyclingnews www.cyclingnews.com
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Jens Voigt of Germany, one of the most popular riders in the peloton, will return to Colorado for the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Voigt is riding for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek this year.
it’s not everyday we get to welcome world-class athletes to durango. Wait…many of them live here! It’s an amazing place to call home on or off the bike. Welcome to all the cyclists, crews, and visitors to our beautiful area. Stop by if we can be of service.
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Race impacts to be on state website Herald Staff Report
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Colorado Department of Transportation will provide travel impact information for motorists during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, what could be the largest spectator event in Colorado history. The race, which will start in Durango on Monday, Aug. 20, and will end in Denver on Sunday, Aug. 26, will affect numerous highways across the state during the week. The site will have data on closures, delays and suggested alternative routes. There also will be links to host citiesâ€™ websites, including www.durango2012.com. There also are links to longterm parking questions. For real-time information related to highway impacts, motorists can sign up for CDOTâ€™s email and text alerts, available at www. coloradodot.info by clicking on the green cellphone icon. Follow CDOT on Twitter: @coloradodot. Daily road closure information during the event also will be available by calling 511 from anywhere in the state or by visiting www.cotrip.org. Race officials estimate more than 1 million spectators may watch the race in person over the course of seven consecutive days. The race will go through numerous Colorado communities with starts and finishes in Durango, Telluride, Montrose, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Aspen, Beaver Creek/Vail, Breckenridge, Colorado Springs, Golden, Boulder and Denver.
Dale Strode/Durango Herald
Highway closures in Crested Butte prompted spectators to ride their bike to the finish in Mount Crested Butte. State highways will experience rolling closures throughout the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
On the Net highway closures and ROAD impacts at: www.cotrip.org/content/usapcc/
Stage 1 Aug. 20: Durango to Telluride. Highways affected will be Colorado Highways 160, 184 and 145. Impacts will begin at 7 a.m. in Durango and will end by 4 p.m.
Stage 2 Aug. 21: Montrose to Mount Crested Butte. Highways affected will be U.S. Highway 50 and Colorado Highway 135, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending by 4 p.m. Also, Cottonwood Pass will be closed at 3 p.m. Aug. 21 until 1 p.m. Aug. 22.
Stage 3 Aug. 22: Gunnison to Aspen. Highways affected include Colorado Highway 135, U.S. Highway 24, Cottonwood Pass and Colorado
Higway 82 (Independence Pass) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Stage 4 Aug. 23: Aspen to Beaver Creek. Highways affected include Colorado Highway 82, U.S. Highway 24 and U.S. Highway 6. Impacts will begin at 9 a.m. and end about 4 p.m.
Stage 5 Aug. 24: Breckenridge to Colorado Springs: Highways affected include Colorado Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Stage 6 Aug. 25: Golden to Boulder. Highways affected include Colorado highways 93, 119, 72, 7 and U.S. Highway 36. Impacts will start at 11 a.m. and end about 4 p.m.
Stage 7 Aug. 26: Denver time trial: No highway impacted; downtown Denver streets only.
Talk the talk: Here’s a glossary of cycling terminology. Attack: A quick attempt by one rider to get away from the group or another rider. Abandon: Quitting a race in progress. Bidon: A bottle attached to the bike frame with a small metal receptacle containing water or another refreshing liquid. Not surprisingly, bidon is French for “water bottle.” Big ringing it: Simply enough, it’s when the rider has his chain on the bigger of two front chainrings. This allows a cyclist to go for maximum speeds and is used on flatter terrain. Blocking: When one rider purposely obstructs the path of other riders, typically as part of a team strategy to allow other team members to build a gap during a breakaway. Bonk: Essentially meaning “out of gas,” or “hitting the wall,” another euphemism for running completely out of energy. Bonus sprints (sprint lines): In
a given stage, race organizers typically designate several points along the course where extra points are given to the first three riders to cross the line. The first Sprint Line in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be on Main Avenue in downtown Durango. Breakaway: No dekes or 360 dunks here, but the idea is similar to other sports. It’s when a rider or group of riders pulls ahead and separates themselves from the main pack. Bridge the gap: When one group or rider breaks away, the natural reaction of everyone else involved is to play catch-up. This term is used to define the moment when another rider or group catches the breakaway. Caravan/race caravan: All those cars you see riding among the bikes typically carry officials or each team’s support group, which provide food, extra clothing, etc. Caravan is the collective term for those riding on four wheels.
Cadence: You know how cars measure how many times a piston turns per minute in the engine – i.e. RPMs? This is the cycling equivalent. It’s how many times in a minute a pedal stroke is completed. Chamois: Pronounced “shammy,” in this case it’s not referring to the moisture-wicking towel used by swimmers and people washing and waxing cars. In cycling, it’s a soft, absorbent liner in the crotch of cycling shorts, padded for maximum comfort. Chasers: Remember a little bit ago when we went over what it meant to bridge the gap? These are the riders attempting to do just that. Criterium: A multi-lap race typically held on a shorter track that typically lasts for a set amount of time. Durango annually hosts one of these downtown on the Sunday of Iron Horse Bicycle Classic weekend. Commissaire: Equivalent to other sports’ referees or judges, this is the person in
charge of enforcing the rules in cycling. They’re typically seen with a copy of the rules, stopwatch and clipboard. Circuit race: Essentially a longer criterium, it’s a multilap event on a course that’s usually two or more miles in length. DNF: Did not finish Domestique: A noble soul the big guns typically need to earn victory. It’s a rider who gives up any shot at individual honors to help the team leader who’s in contention to win. Drafting: Commonly used in auto racing as well, this is when riders line up closely behind another rider to coast in the pocket of air his or her body creates, thus diminishing drag. The lead rider can expend up to 30 percent more energy than the riders behind him or her. Dropped: Something any rider doesn’t want to be. This term is for when riders aren’t able to maintain the pace set by the lead pack, typically be-
cause they’re tired or have some kind of mechanical issue. Echelon: A line of riders at the lead of the group who, in the interest of fairness early in the race, take turns at the front so each rider can get the most protection from the wind as possible. Feeding: Even finely tuned athletic specimens get hungry from time to time. Cyclists often go to the team support car to pick up a pack, called a “musette,” which is full of food and water bottles, which they often empty into the pouches in the back of their jerseys. Riders typically favor high-energy foods that break down rapidly. Field: The main group of riders, also known as a pack or peloton. Field sprint: The final big push among a group of riders, not necessarily for the win. Force the pace: Sometimes, one rider decides he has had enough of this snail’s pace, so he speeds up to increase the
tempo of the pack. Gap: Mind it. It’s the distance between individuals or groups. General classification: The race’s overall leaderboard, representing each rider’s total time in the race. The lower the time, the higher the ranking. Grand tour: The three threeweek major stage races: Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. Grupetto: The group that usually forms at the back of the field on mountain stages, finishing just soon enough to beat the time limit (see also Time Cut). It’s usually made up of sprinters and other riders who don’t specialize in climbing. Also called an “autobus.” Hammering: Pedaling steadily and strenuously. Hammered: Exhausted. Worn out. Severely lacking any semblance of energy. Hanging on: Barely keeping contact at the pack’s rear, i.e., in danger of being dropped.
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Hook: Sometimes on purpose, sometimes not, it’s when a rider uses his rear wheel to clip the front wheel of the rider behind him. Jump: A sudden burst of speed. It typically occurs at the beginning of the sprint, so expect to see this on more level terrain. KOM: King of the Mountain. The top dog of climbing, if you will. The first KOM points line for the Pro Challenge is at the summit of Hesperus Hill. Kick: The final burst toward the finish. Lead out: Intentional and often selfless, it’s when one rider begins a sprint to give a head start to another rider, typically a teammate, who then slingshots around at an even quicker pace to take the lead. Mass start: Any race in which every cyclist starts at the same time. Read: Not a time trial. Mechanical: Cycling jargon for a mechanical problem with a bicycle. Usually not what any competitor wants to hear. Mountain climb classification: Large mountain climbs normally come with a number attached. Category 4 is the easiest type, followed by 3, 2 and 1 in increasing order of difficulty. These numerical indicators of suffering are based off the length and average gradient of the climb. Off the back: One or more riders who’ve failed to keep pace with the main pack. Off the front: When a rider takes part in a breakaway, which is seemingly more preferable to the being off the back. Call it a hunch. On the front: Not quite as fun as being off the front, but leading the peloton for an extended period of time would be suitable. This is the term for a rider doing just that. Paceline: Another word for “echelon”. Peloton: The main field or pack of riders. It’s a French word meaning “group moving forward,” which is convenient because nobody seems to win a race going backward. Point to point road race: A one-day event in which the route goes from Point A to Point B. The top dog events of this nature are called Classics. Popped: The term for when one’s legs lose all power. Not quite as fun to say as its synonym – knackered. Also called “blown,” “had it” and “stuffed.” Prologue: Short time trial that
starts off stage races. Prime: Pronounced “preem.” It’s a race within a race in which cyclists can win prizes for leading a designated lap or at a particular part of a race. Popular in criteriums, including at last year’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, when one of the prizes was a John Elway trading card. Pull: When a rider takes a turn in the front in order to cut the wind for the other riders in the pack. Usually this is standard practice and a pretty nice thing to do before the race gets late. Pull off: Getting out of the way because it’s somebody else’s turn at the front. Nobody wants to be the guy stuck at the front the whole time. Pull Through: Moving to the front of the paceline, from the second spot in line, after the lead rider swings off to the front. Puncture: What you likely were expecting when you saw “popped” earlier. A flat tire. Road rash: Large scrapes and cuts on a cyclist who has just taking a nasty tumble, usually on asphalt. What you may have referred to as “strawberries” as a kid, only on a much larger scale because, well, these folks are moving at a rapid pace on self-powered machines. Saddle: The bike seat. Simple enough. Sitting in: When one rider refuses to take a pull, which typically angers the other riders in the pack who are. Big time. Sitting up: When a cyclist isn’t tucked in the most aerodynamic position. This happens most frequently during climbs because everybody needs to get some extra giddy-up, so they climb off the saddle to get a push. Slipstream: The windless pocket of air created by drafting. Soigneur: Pronounced “swaneur,” which is a fairly fancy way to describe what most of us on this side of the pond would call a trainer. They handle massages and help out with other medical maladies. Sprint: A sudden thrust of speed toward the end of the race when more than one rider is involved. Stage race: A series of individual races of varied types – time trials, road races, circuit races or criteriums – that make up one event that takes place over the course of several days. The lowest total time wins. It’s entirely
possible to not win a single stage yet win the race overall, although stage wins typically are handy. Switchback: A tight, twisting turn on the face of a mountain. One that makes you wonder, “How do those riders not just go flying off the side?” Take a flyer: When a rider takes a solo run off the front of the pack. Sometimes the cyclist succeeds in pulling away for good, sometimes not. Team captain: The head honcho, the person in charge, the big kahuna. The person directing a team’s strategy during the race and typically the most experienced rider of the bunch. Team car: This car typically contains spare bike tires, food, drinks, medical supplies and is basically one-stop shopping for a rider’s in-race needs. How there aren’t more collisions between these and the cyclists is a mystery. Team director: An even bigger head honcho, person in charge and big kahuna. This person manages the tactics during the race and picks the riders for each race as well as deciding which races the team will participate in. Team leader: The rider designated as the team’s best chance to win a particular event, stage or jersey. Tempo: A brisk speed. These folks tend to be pretty fast. Trust us. Time trial: An individual race against the clock. Often, riders will use different wheels and wear more aerodynamic gear for these events. The helmets must be more aerodynamic, because they sure aren’t much of a fashion statement. UCI: Union Cicliste Internationale. These folks run the show as the sport’s foremost governing body. Best to not get on their bad side. USA Cycling: The official governing body of American cycling. These are the folks that establish the criteria for who does and doesn’t make the Olympic team and monitor all cycling disciplines. USCF: U.S. Cycling Federation. This group monitors amateur road and track racing in America and is contained under the USA Cycling umbrella. USPRO: U.S. Professional Cycling. The USCF’s professional cousin. Velo: French for bike. Take it from us, there’ll be a lot of these hitting town.
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Race start requires extra help By Dale Strode
in big numbers. “We have more volunHerald Sports Writer teers than any other city (in the USA Pro Cycling ChalVolunteers? You need volunteers for a lenge),” Craig said. More than 600 people bicycle race? have lined up for the 1,200 Try Durango. volunteer spots needed for “Durango people are amazing. People are volun- the Durango stage. “Because we are the teering for multiple posioverall start, more voluntions,” said Cathy Craig of Durango, the co-chairwom- teers are needed,” Craig an of the volunteer commit- said, adding that pre-race tee for the local stage of the staging requirements neUSA Pro Cycling Challenge. cessitate more volunteers. For example, she said “We’re a cycling-friendly there are about 300 vehicles community. We know how affiliated with the 2012 to pull off a great race ... we’ve done the Iron Horse,” USA Pro Cycling Challenge including team cars, neuCraig said, adding that she tral support cars, referees wasn’t surprised by the cars, race officials vehicles, turnout of volunteers for medical vehicles, etc. the USA Pro Challenge in “All of those cars have Durango. to be decaled in Durango,” Forty years of the Iron she said of the race stickers Horse prepared the comfor the official vehicles. “All munity well, she said. of that for the whole race is “The surprise to me ... is done here.” people embracing the time In addition, uniforms and effort to do everything in advance ... before the race for race officials will be organized and distributed in even gets here,” Craig said, adding that the local organiz- Durango. “And the tour staff and ers have nearly 1,200 volunthe teams ... they are all teer positions in Durango. flying into Durango. They “Their willingness to need to be picked up at the step up is impressive,” she airport and shuttled into said. town,” Craig said. And they’ve stepped up
There are scores of other volunteer positions including parking, course marshals, recycling, etc. “And because we are the overall start, we have the opportunity to put on all these other events (before the race),” Craig said. That’s added to the volunteer numbers, she said. Craig said she was encouraged about the level of support at the very first volunteer orientation. The meeting was held on a Friday evening during a pouring rainstorm on the night of the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics. The meeting at Fort Lewis College drew a standing-room-only crowd that far exceeded the 300 seats in the meeting room. “That was really, really exciting,” Craig said, adding that anyone interested in volunteering can learn more at the event website at www.durango2012.com “People really want their guests coming to Durango to have a great time,” she said. “We all love Durango. We want people who visit to have that same experience.”
Criterium finish on USA Pro Cycling course By Scott Condon Aspen Times
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ASPEN – The best professional female cyclists in the United States will return to Aspen for a downtown criterium race that will finish just before Stage 3 of the men’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The women’s race has been renamed the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge after title sponsor Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Restaurants. Originally scheduled with three stages including a prologue time trial to Maroon Bells and a 35-mile circuit race around Snowmass Village, organizers had to cut back to the single race, the downtown Aspen criterium on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Race organizer Jessica Phillips said she is hopeful that Kristin Armstrong, the U.S. Olympic gold medalist in the time trial, will be among the racers. Armstrong is a mom and twotime Olympic gold medalist. Armstrong was focused on the Olympics, so she hasn’t committed yet to any races after the games. Her presence would provide a big boost to the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge at a time when Phillips needs one. A number of Durangoarea pro racers, including Carmen Small and Kristin McGrath, are scheduled to race in Aspen. Lauren Hall of Dolores also is a likely racer in Aspen. Phillips, an accomplished pro cyclist herself, is taking this season off to concentrate on organizing the Aspen-Snowmass Village races. The required effort is
DALE STRODE/Durango Herald file photo
Pro women racers will return to downtown Aspen on Aug. 22. equivalent to any climb or sprint she endured during her racing days. And the frustration of being a race organizer exceeds what she experienced as a racer. Phillips said she tried to get other Colorado towns and resorts hosting men’s races interested in hosting women’s races so more stages are possible. Most towns seem so overwhelmed hosting the men’s races that they are unwilling to take on extra effort, she said. In some cases, they don’t understand why the women’s races are being presented at the same time as the men’s. The organizers of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge also have been somewhat reluctant to embrace women’s racing, Phillips said. She doesn’t understand the reasoning. “It doesn’t compete against the men’s race,” she said. Phillips knows firsthand that many of the men racing in the international field of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge enjoy it when the women’s races coincide with their stages. Phillips is married to Tejay van Garderen, a top
RACE information www.aspenwomensprorace. com.
U.S. racer and the highest American finisher in the recent Tour de France. Phillips said many of the male riders she has met have expressed support for women’s racing. The Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge attracts the top teams and many of the top riders in the nation. Phillips expects about 40 riders. There were 38 last year. “To get top teams and top riders from Europe, you need more than three stages,” Phillips said. They cannot justify the travel expenses for short races. The women’s races also have a tougher time than the men’s races to attract spectators and sponsors. Despite the hurdles, Phillips is convinced her team has put together a good event. “Everything’s put together better this year,” she said. That’s why it is frustrating to her that more towns and people aren’t embracing the women’s races. “If we could somehow break in,” she said.
A guide to the first leg of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a cycling race starting in Durango, CO.