—Photo by Garrett Ellwood
From guides to each stage of the race to our favorite bicycle shops around Denver, we give you all you need to know during Colorado's favorite road-cycling race. Visit 5280.com/usaprochallenge for daily cycling coverage this week.
Stage 1: Aspen Circuit Race (Monday, August 18)
There’s no easing into this race, folks. The pros start at 7,900 feet in elevation, and face three laps of nearly 22 miles each that wind through Snowmass Village and downtown Aspen. The 2,300 feet of climbing per lap coupled with ultra-short descents leave little room for recovery.
Distance: 63.8 miles
Start: 2:40 p.m.*
Where to Watch: Check out the King of the Mountain climb at the intersection of Owl Creek Road and Brush Creek Road in Snowmass Village. Points are awarded to the first few riders to best the incline. After the race, a special jersey is given to the rider with the highest point total.
Fuel Up: On race day, make a pit stop at Justice Snow’s to try a hand-crafted creation by cocktail mechanic Joshua Peter Smith. We recommend the Bamboo, made with Lustau cam sherry, dry vermouth, orange liqueur, and orange bitters.
Don’t Miss: The Lifestyle Festival located near the finish line at each stage is a gathering point for spectators. It features cycling vendors, family-friendly activities, food vendors, and entertainment.
Stay: Take in some of the best views in Aspen from the Limelight Hotel.
*Editor's Note 8/5/14: The start time of stage 1 was changed from 2:10 to 2:40. This article has been edited to reflect that.