Colorado has seen its fair share of cycling, but there was no denying the level of electricity in the air when the first rider rolled out of the start house for the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The Centennial State is the spiritual home of pro cycling in America and to see it resurrected with a top shelf stage race meant that all eyes of the sport would be trained on every development that took place out on the road. No matter how things shook out, Team RadioShack’s Levi Leipheimer knew that he wanted to figure significantly in how the story of the inaugural event was written.
In 2012, the race took place from August 20-26 and was rated as an 2.HC event on the UCI America Tour. The race began in Durango and took riders and fans on a 683-mile journey around the state with the following stages: Stage 1: Durango to Telluride Stage 2: Montrose to Mt. Crested Butte Stage 3: Gunnison to Aspen Stage 4: Aspen to Beaver Creek Stage 5: Breckenridge to Colorado Springs Stage 6: Golden to Boulder Stage 7: Denver Individual Time Trial Riders from sixteen international, professional teams took place in the race, challenging the course’s 42,000 feet of vertical climbing and technical descents. After Stage 7’s Time Trial, Americans swept the podium with Christian Vande Velde winning the race, Tejay Van Garderen finishing second and Levi Leipheimer finishing third.
The 2013 USA Pro Challenge came to an exciting conclusion today, as 2013 Tour de France Sprint Champion Peter Sagan (SVK) of Cannondale Pro Cycling took the stage to the roaring cheers of fans lining the route in Downtown Denver (his fourth stage win of the race). And with an overall time of 22 hours 38 minutes and 48 seconds, Tejay van Garderen (USA) of BMC Racing Team took home the overall win.