Welcome to year three of the Tour of Colorado, often called the US Pro Cycling Challenge for reasons known only to the promoters.
We’ve been on the ground for every stage of the first two editions and this race is awesome-sauce. Last year Colorado was arguably the most exciting week-long stage race in the United States and probably Europe.
Garmin-Sharp attacked from the gun in Durango and didn’t stop thrashing people until the finish in Denver. On pure entertainment value, the Tour of California is playing catch-up and hoping Peter Sagan doesn’t win another five stages.
For 2013 the race is once again heavy on ski resort towns. Aspen, Snowmass, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs and Vail are all beautiful and ritzy. Your credit card better be in good shape. We’ll miss the funkier towns that provided a stylistic contrast — Gunnison, Montrose and Durango. Honestly, there ain’t too much local color without those stops.
Nevertheless, the crowds will be raucous and huge and we’ll hope the racing is as cut-throat as last year. As Jonathan Vaughters said, his team “sucker punched” BMC and RadioShack. It was fun to watch but Tejay van Garderen won’t get fooled again.
2013 USA Pro Challenge stages
August 19 Stage 1: Aspen/Snowmass Circuit
August 20 Stage 2: Aspen/Snowmass – Breckenridge
August 21 Stage 3: Breckenridge – Steamboat Springs
August 22 Stage 4: Steamboat Springs – Beaver Creek
August 23 Stage 5: Vail Time Trial (ITT)
August 24 Stage 6: Loveland – Fort Collins
August 25 Stage 7: Denver Circuit