The USA Pro Cycling Challenge charges into Denver on Sunday afternoon with a time trial finish around downtown. With the general classification race so close, the time trial will likely provide the seconds needed for someone to pull away with the win. So, where should you watch?
The race route expands from the Civic Center Park corridor in front of the capitol at 1 p.m. along Speer Boulevard, through Larimer Square, back to Colfax, through Uptown, into City Park, and back to Civic Center Park. There’s a lot of prime real estate to stake out for primo views of the racers. Here’s our five favorites spots in no particular order:
Headquarters: The Tavern Uptown is the official headquarters of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and will be handing out special event passes throughout the remainder of the race. If you want to see each rider twice during the time trial, camp out in their “Fan Zone” as the race route doubles back in front of the Tavern on its way in and out of City Park.
Uptown: Make Sunday a full-day bike-lovin’ event at the Denver Bicycle Cafe. Start early by rolling your own ride in for 20 percent off a bicycle tune and $1 off the “race beer of the day.”
Larimer Square: Stop in at TAG restaurant on Larimer Square as they launch their first-ever brunch menu for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge fans that will be lining their sidewalk. It’s a carb-loaded menu with dishes like the TAG bené (a twist on eggs Benedict with a crab cake, roasted tomato, egg, and lobster sambal hollandaise).
City Park: If standing street-side isn’t the race day experience you are looking for, head to City Park. If you have ever attended the summer Sunday standby, Jazz in the Park, you know what a great atmosphere the wide-open green space can be. Ride your bike down to the park with the family and bring a picnic, a frisbee, and the all-important cow bell.
Civic Center Park: Civic Center Park serves as the start and finish of Sunday’s time trial, but more importantly the conclusion of the seven-day stage race. See all the riders take-off and return before joining the crowd to crown the general classification winner with the final yellow jersey. Last year, the cyclists said the finish was like being in Paris for the final stage of Le Tour. Even if you watch the time trial from a different location, don’t miss the podium ceremony on Sunday afternoon.