Breckenridge will host both the Stage 2 finish and Stage 3 start of the seven-day USA Pro Challenge bike race in August 2013, race organizers announced Wednesday.
“It's very exciting,” Breckenridge Town Councilwoman Wendy
Wolfe said. “It's a great early Christmas present for the town of Breckenridge.”
The race, which drew millions of spectators in its first two years, will
start its third year in Aspen, with teams touring through Breckenridge to
Steamboat Springs, Beaver Creek, Vail and Loveland-Fort Collins before heading
into Denver for the Stage 7 finish.
“Riders now know there is no race in
America like the USA Pro Challenge, and these host cities help ensure cycling's
world stage returns to Colorado for seven days of grueling competition,” Pro
Challenge CEO and co-chairman Shawn Hunter stated in a release announcing the
host cities. “Each of these communities will be on an international stage as we
partner with them to ensure the USA Pro Challenge takes its place as America's
The race has earned a reputation for being one of the
most challenging, sending teams up to two miles in elevation as it crosses the
For Breckenridge, the Pro Challenge has become a
headline event of the summer season, continuing to draw spectators numbering in
the tens of thousands.
This year, hosting a start and a finish, riders
will spend the night in Breckenridge and the town will organize both evening and
morning festivities around the event.
Breck officials said the town
requested a back-to-back stage start and finish in this year's bid. Breckenridge
hosted a weekend stage finish two years ago during the inaugural race and a
stage start last summer.
“I think we've brought out as many or more
people for our first-year finish and last year's start than almost any other
town,” Wolfe said. “And our proximity to the Front Range makes us a good
location to kind of connect this race together.”
A number of criteria
are considered in selecting host cities, including lodging, volunteer
recruitment, marketing, local tourism and the capability to host the athletes
and promote the state, race organizers stated in Wednesday's release.
“The USA Pro Challenge has created an entirely new audience for our
state,” Gov. John Hickenlooper stated in the release. “Not only is it the best
American competition, it's essentially a week-long advertisement for our state
with 128 of the best cyclists in the world acting as tour guides.”
also approaches the race as a long-term event marketing investment.
Details regarding the exact locations of starting and finish lines as
well as the exact route of the 2013 race will be announced in the spring,
according to the statement.
All of the cities and towns selected for
next year are returning hosts with the exception of Loveland and Fort
Next year's race will run from Aug. 19-25 and is again expected
to draw upwards of a million spectators to the sidelines.