Brothers Schleck prefer Colorado over Spain.

Frank Schleck. Howdy Colorado.

After battling Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans in the tightly contested Tour de France, the Brothers Schleck are headed to the wild, wild west. No Helta Skelta Vuelta for them.

Admitting to fatigue, Andy and Schleck have decided instead to ride the inaugural USA ProCYcling Challenge that will be held between August 22-28. Howdy, Luxembourger cowboys.

Andy loves the warm welcome he gets in the states — he’s ridden the last two editions of the Tour of California. The Colorado trip will be Frank’s first visit to the USA this season.

Team spokespeople at Trek Leopard have not said what specifically the Schleck have in mind for Colorado. They may decide to go river rafting in the Rockies or fly fishing in some of the alpine streams.

There are also several high quality micro-breweries in close proximity to the race route, including the Coors Brewery in Golden and the New Belgian Brewery in Fort Collins — which may require a drive but the Fat Tire Ale is worth the trip.

Ultimately, they may just decide to race the ProCycling Challenge. 128 of the world’s top athletes will ride 518 miles through the Rockies, at altitudes of more than two miles. That’s twice the altitude of Alp d’Huez.

In fact, the route goes through the majority of the most famous ski towns in Colorado: Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte. This will give them plenty of mountains to gain revenge on Tour de France champion Cadel Evans — who just announced he’ll also be rockin’ the Rockies in his inimitable and understated style.

It’s going to be a visually stunning and athletically thrilling race. Now, with the Schlecks on the start list, it’s twice as exciting.

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  • Theoldmtneer

    It's gonna be the former mtn bikers delight, do not under estimate Cadel in the Rockies, Andy & Frank will wish they went to the Vuelta….

  • Anon.

    The Colorado mountains aren't steep by European standards. If Cadel — and his team — isn't too tired this could be a TdF repeat.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      I don't expect Evans to feel like he needs to do anything in this race. Maybe George Hincapie will win a stage. Matt

  • gerr

    12 mile dirt climb up cottonwood pass. Go Cadel. He has raced here before, Vail mtb world cups etc, many times.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Then he'll be coming home. Outside chance I'll be at the race and maybe I can get a quick interview. That was too hard at the Tour. Matt

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      I'm headed to COlorado on Sunday. WIll be interested to see what Cadel has in mind. Matt

  • Sam

    …and there is a micro brewery (Backcountry Brewery) in Frisco, on the way to stage finish in Breckenridge, that goes right through a very cool little bike shop called Podium Sports. Everyone should check it out. Leather chairs to sit in while you watch the race on big screen TV's too. See you all there?

  • Just a thought

    Just a quick question: Is there a minimum number of grand tours that a cyclist is required to compete in during the cycling season? If the Schlecks don't race the Vuelta, then the Tour de France is the one grand tour they competed in for 2011. Personally I'd think it would make more sense if the UCI instituted a minimum 2-grand tour rule for all cyclists. Even if it's what-Lance-did, I don't see the sense in having cyclists focus their entire season around the TdF. I think it'd be better for cycling if they instituted a new era where all cyclists in the top 100 had to compete in at least two of the three grand tours. That would a true test of endurance.