Race is on to become USA Pro Cycling Challenge host city for next year’s event

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The USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be back in Colorado in 2012 for seven days of cycling from Aug. 20-26.  Race organizers have already begun planning for the 2012 race, although host cities have not been announced.

Cities interested in becoming a host city must apply through an official Request for Proposals process beginning next month. Host cities are expected to be named by the end of November.

Colorado Springs hosted the prologue of this year’s race. Organizers of the event say nearly 1 million spectators lined the streets in the 11 host cities to watch the race, which ended in Denver.

The event’s organizers have commissioned an economic impact study with the results expected this month. Early on, event organizers said the race could have a $50 million economic impact on the host cities. That figure is based on the impact of a similar stage race in California.

All 11 cities — Colorado Springs, Salida, Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte, Gunnison, Aspen, Vail, Avon, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Golden and Denver — have expressed interest in returning as a host city in 2012, event organizers said.

“The 2011 host cities were our earliest and most significant supporters,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. “We are deeply grateful for that.”

Hunter said organizers are excited to offer the opportunity for other cities to be showcased to a worldwide audience.

“So while our loyalty is with the cities who stepped up as early supporters, the field is wide open for which communities might be a host city in 2012,” he said.