Back in August, USA Pro Challenge CEO Shawn Hunter said his cycling race would one day return to Vail. Turns out he’s a man of his word.
The pivotal stage of the inaugural stage race in 2011 will return for the 2013 version as race organizers announced the route for the Aug. 19-25 stage race on Thursday. The Vail Pass Time Trial was conspicuously absent from the 2012 version of the race.
“This year we are, once again, taking [spectators] to the highest point of any professional cycling race with Independence Pass,” Hunter said in a press release. “We’re also returning to the iconic Time Trial route in Vail. The best in the sport will be racing through Colorado communities for what will be an epic week in professional cycling.”
The race will start in Aspen on Aug. 19 and end in Denver on Aug. 25 after traveling 599 miles through eight Colorado cities. The Aug. 22 stage will travel from Steamboat Springs – another returning city – to Beaver Creek. The on Aug. 23, the world’s best professional cyclists will head up Vail Pass in reprise of an original Coors Classic stage.
Some racers lamented the axing of the Vail Pass Time Trial in favor of a time trial finish in Denver last year.
“We are excited to have Beaver Creek back on the schedule for the finish of Stage 4, especially with the resort being part of the Queen Stage,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation and president of the Vail and Beaver Creek local organizing committee. “We are also extremely pleased to be able to bring the Time Trial back to Vail. Not only was it one of the most exciting and historic stages of the inaugural tour, but it is also a very challenging course for the riders, given its uphill nature.”
The road to the final podium in Denver goes straight over Beaver Creek’s Bachelor Gulch. A new start in Steamboat … read the rest of the story at RealVail.com