Stage 2: Aspen to Crested Butte (Tuesday, August 19)

August 18 2014, 8:00 AM

The 2011 USA Pro Challenge. Photo courtesy of Beeide Photography/Shutterstock.

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.


Call it the thigh buster. Stage two begins with cyclists darting down Aspen Valley through Basalt and Carbondale before the first big climb at McClure Pass (which tops out at 8,700 feet). Separating McClure Pass from the 9,900-foot Kebler Pass is a winding 20-mile romp on Gunnison County Road 12. The stage finishes with a sprint through downtown Crested Butte and the now-traditional climb up to Mt. Crested Butte.

Distance: 105 miles

Start: 10:10 a.m.

Where to Watch: McClure Pass and Kebler Pass.

Fuel Up: Colorado may be known for its craft beer and whiskey scenes, but stop by Montanya Rum in Crested Butte for a taste of their hand-made, award winning rum. Let them show you why their mountain rum rivals even the best stuff from the Caribbean.

Don’t Miss: If you’re in town a day early, enjoy the music of Brothers Comatose at the Alpenglow Free Downtown Concert Series at the Center for the Arts. It’s free, it’s outdoors, and this is the last one of the summer. Bring a lawn chair and some snacks.

Stay: Just eight miles from downtown Crested Butte, enjoy the rustic feel of the historic Pioneer Guest Cabins.