USA Pro Cycling Challenge - Stage 2 Overview & Estimated Times

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.

With a day that goes gradually up hill all day, and two early King of the Mountain lines, Stage 2 will be a little deceptive. This is one of the shortest stages of the week, but it is bookended by the two longest stages, so riders might choose to conserve their energy for the difficult climbs the next day, relying on their teammates to pull them through. While the two early climbs are not big, they still require effort and could be launch pads for breakaways. But the leaders’ teams will want the group to be all together once they get to the climb to Mt Crested Butte, so any breakaways will get swallowed up. The climb to the finish will be short, so the time gaps will be small if everyone is on top of their game, but precious seconds can be lost in these last 10 miles.

The Vertical

The race starts in Montrose at 5,844 feet above sea level and finishes in Mt. Crested Butte at 9,429 feet (cat 3 climb).  However, there will be two climbs for King of The Mountain points in between – one to Cerro Summit, a Cat 3 climb at 7,973 feet at mile 16, and the next, another cat 3 climb, to Blue Mesa Summit at 8,719 feet, 30.7 miles into the race.  Total climbing for the stage will be 8,049 feet.

Estimated Arrival & Finish Times

The race starts in Montrose at 11.25am.  Depending on the average stage speed which the official USA Pro Cycling Challenge timetable for Stage 2 (download PDF) shows between 20 and 26 miles per hour, the first sprint in Gunnision will take place between 2.07pm and 2.55pm after 66.8 miles.  The second sprint in Crested Butte at mile 96 will take place between 3.14pm and 4.22pm with the 0.2 miles completed in less than a minute.  The riders are expected to start the climb to Mt. Crested Butte between 3.15pm and 4.24pm, with the expected finish time between 3.21pm and 4.32pm – that’s a “brutal” climb of seven minutes at 23 miles per hour!

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Stage 2 video preview

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