Best Bike-Race Bash
Say hello to the planet’s fittest pack of Lycra-clad legs to ever scorch Colorado roads. Starting in Aspen on Aug. 18, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge crosses 550 miles over seven days. More than 100 world-class professional cyclists, including American and Boulder-area heroes, will climb 40,000 soul-crushing feet before the race concludes in Denver on Aug. 24, the day downtown Boulder hosts the start.
Turn race-watching into a Sunday family outing by pedaling to the Boulder start line on Pearl at 18th Street. Kids—and adults—can snap selfies with their favorite riders by the sleek team buses, and then cheer as the field rolls away at noon in a kaleidoscope of kit colors. The riders will spin by the start area twice before heading south on Colorado Highway 93. Minutes later, road warriors aged 11 and under can set their wheels on the pros’ start line for the Boulder Kids Challenge, and then ride for an ice cream reward. Check www.usaproboulder.com for schedule changes and updates on local events such as the Aug. 23 Brewfest.
Cycling fanatics may prefer a view of the peloton from a switchback on Lookout Mountain alongside fans dressed as sumo wrestlers, bananas and chickens; they can view the rest of the race on a Jumbotron in Golden’s Parfet Park. For an adrenaline rush, go to Denver to experience the wind gust generated by the expected high-speed sprint finish.
Catch the action at earlier stages by pulling up Tour Tracker online or taking a day trip. The Colorado Springs circuit charges through Garden of the Gods four times on Aug. 21. Or witness the power and suffering of these paper-thin athletes on Aug. 23 at the individual race against the clock up old Vail Pass Road.
– Mary Topping