Fans can select Pro Challenge's final stage
Last Updated: 16:34 November 4, 2013
If you want professional racers to start the final stage of the seven-day race in Boulder, make sure to cast your vote, USA Pro Challenge organizers said in a press statement Monday. Race organizers released the route of the first six days of the race on Monday and called on supporters to decide where the final day's leg should start and end.
Four choices for the final leg of the race are Boulder to Golden, Boulder to Denver, Golden to Denver or a loop that starts in Denver and ends in Denver.
To vote for your choice, go to the USA Pro Challenge website at http://www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com/city/whats-your-vote-stage-7.
"We receive a lot of feedback from fans about the race, and in particular, the route. So, for the first time, we're having fans weigh in on the final stage," said Shawn Hunter, chief executive of the USA Pro Challenge race, in the press statement.
Voting will continue for about a month, with a final decision about whether Boulder is in the mix expected to be announced around Thanksgiving, said Nicole Okoneski, a race spokeswoman.
Boulder hosted a stage of the race in 2012 that featured a finish atop Flagstaff Mountain. Race officials passed over Boulder this year in favor of Loveland, Estes Park and Fort Collins. Across the state, the 2012 bike race brought in an estimated $99.6 million in economic benefit, according to a study done by global sports research firm IFM North America.
Race supporters in Boulder are lobbying for a Boulder stage-race start in 2014, said Andrew Shoemaker, a local race organizer. A race starting in Boulder that continues along the Front Range would ease potential pressure on damaged mountain roads and would be less expensive to host than was the 2012 race stage, he said.
Organizers decided to lobby for a race start, mainly because some Boulder County roads featured in the 2012 Pro Challenge race were damaged in September's torrential flooding, Shoemaker said. Flooding in nearby mountain communities, in Boulder and along the Front Range Sept. 11-15 caused millions of dollars of damage.
When so many county residents continue to deal with flood-related issues, race supporters didn't want anything about the race to potentially get in the way of basic fixes to roads and other infrastructure, Shoemaker said.
Supporters plan to lobby again for a Flagstaff finish for the 2015 race, Shoemaker said.
"That's just the nature of how we have to deal with the flood," Shoemaker said. "(But) the race committee is very excited about the possibility in 2015 of a finish in Boulder."
Entrepreneur Rick Schaden owns the privately funded USA Pro Challenge race. Schaden also owns Broomfield-based Beyond Aviation LLC, a rocket research company, and is a co-founder of the Smashburger restaurant chain, based in Denver.
The 2014 race is slated to take place Aug. 18-24. It will kick off in Aspen and will roll through several mountain communities before wrapping up on the Front Range.
Here's the lineup of the stages released Monday by USA Pro Challenge:
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 (mountaintop finish)
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 - ?
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