Stage 3: Gunnison to Monarch Mountain (Wednesday, August 20)

August 19 2014, 8:00 AM

USA Pro Challenge 2011. 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.


The riders will start the day in Gunnison and ride east 35 miles to the 11,300-foot Monarch Pass. After descending the eastern slope, the peloton will do two nine-mile loops through Salida and the surrounding countryside. Expect the climbing specialists to shine today: The stage finishes with nearly 20 miles uphill to the Monarch Mountain Ski Area (10,800 feet).

Distance: 96 miles

Start: 11:25 a.m.

Where to Watch: Elevation Beer Company is throwing a watch party in its parking lot starting at noon. From here you’ll be able to see the riders pass by twice.

Fuel Up: The parking lot party features $3 green/blue series beer and $5 black/double black series. Also food will be on hand from Rustingram Catering. Ride your bike to the party and get a free green/blue series beer.

Don’t Miss: After the race, wind down to some classic Beatles tunes from Colorado’s premier tribute band Doctor Robert. The band is headlining the finish line festivities at the Monarch Ski Area.

Stay: Downtown Salida’s Palace Hotel has a vintage chic charm (it was established in 1909) but with all the modern amenities you’d expect.