For every mile that USA Pro Challenge riders clock on the road during this weeklong event, fans will be cheering on their progress with hoots, hollers and parties. Here’s a peek at some of the standout events that coincide with the Summit County stages:
TUESDAY, AUG. 18
Stage 2 starts in Steamboat Springs and finishes at Arapahoe Basin.
1) STAGE 2 FINISH FESTIVAL — ARAPAHOE BASIN
Head to the High Noon lot for the Stage 2 Finish Festival at Arapahoe Basin on Tuesday, Aug. 18. The day opens with free chairlift rides on the Black Mountain Express lift, running from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and picnic games, slack lining and a guided nature hike out of the base area.
Live race coverage, vendor tents, music and kid’s activities, including the Kid of the Mountain bike race, run from noon to 5 p.m., and a free concert runs from 5:30 to 10 p.m., featuring the Freddy Jones Band.
Food and nonalcoholic beverages will be available for purchase in the festival village, and the 6th Alley Bar & Grill will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., with food service starting at 3 p.m. Driving to the Basin on race day is not recommended, and parking will not be possible without a pass. Biking to the venue is recommended, as is as taking a free shuttle from Keystone. Free shuttles pick up at Keystone’s River Run parking lots and drop off at A-Basin’s administration lot. They will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will resume after the race from 6 to 10 p.m.
2) RIDER’S LOUNGE VIP RECEPTION — COPPER
Held in the Grand Hall at Copper Station from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, Copper Mountain’s Rider’s Lounge is the way to get up close and personal with Pro Challenge athletes, as well as NBC announcers Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin and Christian Vande Velde. Tickets for the event are $150 per person and include a spread of food and libations, along with music from Arthur Lee Land’s sound fusion of folk-rock and bluegrass.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 19
Stage 3 starts at Copper Mountain Resort and finishes in Aspen.
3) STAGE 3 START AND FESTIVAL — COPPER
From 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19, Center Village and Burning Stones Plaza in Copper will be the place to watch the official start of Stage 3. Once the riders are on their way toward Aspen, stay for music performances from Industrial Rhythm, Zach Heckenduorf and Matt Mahern.
“Copper Mountain is very excited to host a Stage 3 start for the USA Pro Challenge this year,” said Stephanie Sweeney, communications manager for Copper Mountain Resort. “We have a long tradition of hosting other cycling events, so we’re proud to add the Pro Challenge to the lineup.”
The day will carry on as a lively festival, featuring carnival fare, free family activities, local vendors, free chairlift rides and a tour finish watch party on a Jumbotron in Burning Stones Plaza. Visitors can park in the Alpine Lot and catch a free shuttle into Center Village. The last shuttle will leave the Alpine Lot at 10:30 a.m., so Sweeney said spectators should arrive early.
“The race will start at 11:15 a.m., so Copper Road, the main road through Copper and its villages, will close about an hour before then,” she said.
THURSDAY, AUG. 20
Stage 4 starts in Aspen and finishes in Breckenridge.
4) STAGE 4 FINISH — BRECKENRIDGE
Festivities will run all day in Breckenridge on Thursday, Aug. 20, all leading up to the afternoon finish of Stage 4. Check out the all-day mobile scavenger hunt on Main Street, or visit Austin Bike Zoo and ARTCRANK in the Breckenridge Arts District.
From noon to 6 p.m., the Maxxis Stunt Show will bring performers to the Festival Village. Join in on yoga from 11 to 11:45 a.m., held on the Riverwalk Center Lawn. From noon to 2 p.m., a variety of activities on Main Street include a Strider Cup, Wish for Wheels parade and a street sprints event. Bluegrass by Trout Steak Revival will be live from noon to 2 p.m. in the Festival Village, followed by music by Dave and Brad from 2 to 3 p.m.
Watch the race finish in town or on the big screen at the Riverwalk Center lawn, starting at 3 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony. More bluegrass from Trout Steak Revival will close out the afternoon from 4:30 to 6 p.m., followed by the Tour de Breck bike decorating and costume parade throughout town. At 7:30 p.m., there’s a free concert by The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.
Parking in Breckenridge will be almost impossible unless you have a pass, are staying in one of the complexes or get there prior to 7 a.m. There will be free parking lots on Airport Road, which is off Coyne Valley Road about one mile north of town, and they will have free shuttles that run every 15 minutes.
FRIDAY, AUG. 21
Stage 5 brings the new Breckenridge Individual Time Trial. Also on Friday, the inaugural Women’s USA Pro Challenge kicks off with a time trial event.
5) STAGE 5 TIME TRIAL FESTIVAL — BRECKENRIDGE
Breckenridge will host another day of events on Friday, Aug. 21, leading up to late-morning race starts and afternoon awards for the men’s and women’s time trials. All day, the Maxxis Stunt show will bring performances to the Riverwalk Center lawn, and guests can visit Austin Bike Zoo and ARTCRANK in the Breckenridge Arts District if they missed it on Thursday.
Pro Challenge Time Trial racing begins at 10 a.m. Spectators can get their sweat on with a boot-camp fitness class on the Riverwalk Center lawn from 10 to 10:45 a.m., as well as yoga from 11 to 11:45 a.m. From 10 a.m. to noon, the Brews and Blues (and Bloody Marys) event will be held in the Festival Village beer garden.
Women’s awards begin at noon, and men’s awards begin at 4 p.m. Kids’ games and bike rodeo will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and don’t miss the Celebrity Pond Crossing at the Dredge Pond, held from 1 to 2 p.m.
“With this event tucked away at the Dredge Pond, race fans could get caught up in other action and miss this,” said Rachel Zerowin, public relations manager at the Breckenridge Tourism Office, “but the past couple years, it’s been a super cool scene and a great vibe just hanging out on the grass and cheering the riders across, into and out of the pond.”
In the evening, a free concert at the Riverwalk Center will feature Los Lobos, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
“With two stages this year (in Breckenridge) and BreckCreate’s International Festival of Arts running during the race, fans will really reap the rewards,” Zerowin said.