Guide to Spectating the USA Pro Challenge in Golden, Colorado 2015

image credit www.cyclingnews.comJust weeks away from the start of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge, Colorado sports enthusiasts and cycling fans around the world wait with anticipation of yet another phenomenal pro race. From August 17-23, leading cyclists from around the world will battle it out in Colorado during the USA Pro Challenge, a seven-day professional stage race that winds 617 miles around the state.  One million people are expected to check out the race, which—now in its fifth year—is the largest spectator event in Colorado.  Nine cities are hosting the race this year, including Golden, Colorado.

This year, in addition to hosting the final stage start of the 7-day race, Golden will also host the finish for the first-ever Women’s USA Pro Challenge race. This elite, invitation-only women’s race will take place over three days, kicking off in Breckenridge on August 21 and ending in Golden on August 23.

Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop has been local supporters of the race since its inaugural year.  Spectators, travelers, and locals alike visit our shop asking for ride directions to ride the race route through Golden and the best places to spectate during the race.  Here’s what you need to know!

Stage 3 – Women’s USA Pro Challenge
August 23, 2015 –  10:30 AM –  Golden, Colorado – The start line for the women’s race is on Washington Avenue, between 12th & 13th Streets.
Start Time: 10:30 am – Estimated Finish: 11:30am

The women have tested their time trial legs and their climbing legs, now it’s time to test their elbows in some shoulder to shoulder technical circuit racing served up Colorado style in Golden.

This final stage is no mere promenade or flat four corner coronation for the current leader. With hills, technical corners, and plenty of time bonuses up for grabs on this tight 1.5 mile circuit, the overall winner will have to prove their worthiness for one more day. If they survive this circuit they will truly be a worthy winner of the first-ever Women’s USA Pro Challenge and will have proved their skill in all disciplines of the sport.

Stage 7 – Men’s USA Pro Challenge
August 23, 2015 –  1:00 PM -The start line for the women’s race is on Washington Avenue, between 12th & 13th Streets.
Start time: 1:10 pm – Estimated finish: 3:45 pm

For a finale, the Pro Challenge goes back to its roots. This route was the final stage of the first Pro Challenge in 2011 and introduced the world to the cycling crowds on the Front Range.  After a short loop north of Golden the race will tackle its main obstacle of the day, the 4-mile climb of Lookout Mountain. Another quick pass of Golden and the race is screaming through Wheat Ridge and Lakewood en route to downtown Denver. Four laps of the familiar Denver circuit await and Civic Center Park, City Park, and 17th street will be treated to blazing speeds as the last prizes of the week are fought over tooth and nail.

The highlight of the stage is the Lookout Mountain climb.

  • Length: 5.1 miles
  • Total elevation: 1,438 ft
  • Average Grade: 5.3% (7%) (steeper in the corners)
  • Lookout Mountain climb is called Pillar to Post for the landmarks at the start and finish.
  • The climb up and the descent down the treacherous Lookout Mountain provides an intense challenge on the tour’s final day.

So, where are the best places to watch the pro cyclist through Golden, Colorado?  Anywhere along the route for either the women’s or the men’s course will be a great place to see the action!  Lookout Mountain is a popular viewing area, as the riders climb and change position. Check out the route maps and stake out your spot!

The real question is, if you only have a  weekday off in Denver, how would you use it?  The final stage from Golden to Denver on August 23 will be stellar spectating. Start your day watching the climb up Lookout Mountain in Golden, then enjoy the Local Golden Festival in Parfet Park, from 9 am – 4 pm.  Local merchants and organizations will be on hand to showcase their businesses.

During the break between the women’s race and the men’s race, you can wander downtown and grab a bite to eat, visit one of the food vendors in the park, or grab a beer and watch all the race action on the Jumbo Tron. Of course, we’d love it if you stop by the shop, Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop.

Make the day memorable and pick up a select few bike parts, cycling accessories, or cycling apparel. We’re loving the good cycling vibe that the USA Pro Cycling Challenge brings to our state.  Good luck to all racing the ProCycling Challenge!

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