Great atmosphere in Mount Crested Butte for the finish of stage 2 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Re-live the exciting finish which saw Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), followed by Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda), come from nowhere to snatch victory from BMC team-mate Mathias Frank with 600m to go to the summit finish!
One of the shortest stages of the week, a mix of old and new awaits the racers on this second stage of 99 miles from Montrose to Mt Crested Butte. The first 65 miles has a bit of a sting with the short but challenging climbs over Cerro Summit and Blue Mesa Summit making for early launch pads for the breakaway specialists. Then the cyclists visit familiar territory with a Sprint Line in Gunnison, a second Sprint Line in Crested Butte, and a nasty 2 mile climb to the dramatic finish on Mt. Crested Butte, which proved an exciting moment in 2011. After heading gradually uphill most of the day, cyclists and their fans will witness all the excitement of a huge alpine climb packed into 4 minutes, with the promising roar of the Crested Butte crowd at the finish.
Being one of the founding places for mountain biking, Crested Buttians use bicycles as their main mode of transportation. The town is also always ready for a parade, party or reason to dress in costume and if they get to ride their bike while doing it? Even better! This has led to numerous ancillary activities during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge that you won’t find at every host city. (more…)
Photo: Crested Butte Mountain Resort/Robb Pennie
Tour de France Winners and World Champions Set to Compete in America’s Toughest Cycling Race; Stage 2 (August 21) finishes Mt. Crested Butte, sprint in Crested Butte
Marking one of the best fields ever assembled on American soil for a professional cycling race, the provisional team rosters* for the 2012 USA Pro Challenge have been confirmed. Taking place August 20-26, the race will travel through 12 host cities, taking riders and fans on a scenic tour through the Colorado Rockies. Emphasizing the competitive level of the field, the race will include six of the top 13 finishers from this year’s Tour de France:
- Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) of Liquigas-Cannondale
- Tejay Van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing
- Cadel Evans (AUS) of BMC Racing Team
- Janez Brajkovic (SLO) from Astana Pro Team
- and RadioShack-Nissan-Trek riders Andreas Kloden (GER) and Chris Horner (USA)
Plus, last year’s winner Levi Leipheimer of Omega Pharma-QuickStep (BEL) returning to defend hos title albeit with a different team!
Fall is a great time to visit Crested Butte, colors are changing, there’s a lot on, and we have availability! Check out these events for all tastes:
West Elk Bicycle Classic, Sept. 2, Gunnison/Montrose/Delta Counties
Western State Colorado University’s cycling team is sponsoring a new bicycle gran fondo, the West Elk Bicycle Classic, on Sept. 2 with two length options: The 130-mile ride climbs nearly 10,000 feet and starts in Gunnison at 7 a.m., then to the Blue Mesa Dam, Crawford, Paonia and Kebler Pass before finishing in downtown Crested Butte with cheering, music, finish line and a meal at Donita’s Cantina. The 100-mile version starts three miles past the dam at 7:30 a.m. Visit www.western.edu/westelkbicycleclassic for details and registration, which costs $75 if submitted by Aug. 23, and $100 after that.
A nice gentle 8-mile ride (4 miles each way) from Crested Butte starting at the end of Butte Avenue. From Elk Ave going west, turn right on First Street, then left on Butte Avenue and keep going. It’s a hard-packed dirt road that passes Peanut Lake before ending and becoming a wide-track hiking and biking trail. There a few shallow climbs there and back but the ride is very achievable for non-cyclists and younger children. The trail ends at a bend in the Slate River where you can dip you toes – or even you whole body- in the water. From here you can ride on to the more challenging Upper Lower Loop, the Gunsight Pass climb, or even loop back to Crested Butte on Slate River Road.