USA Pro Cycling poster showcases Springs landmarks

An Ohio native is the winner of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Colorado Springs Stage 5 poster contest.

James Billiter’s design won over judges Mayor Steve Bach, Chris Carmichael of Carmichael Training Systems and Steve McCauley of USA Cycling.

“With family in Colorado, I am fortunate enough to visit every couple of years,”  Billiter said.  “The poster was inspired by one of my first visits in 2002 – we hiked in Garden of the Gods and I was awestruck by the magnificence of Pikes Peak in the distance.”

USA Pro Cycling Challenge officials also announced the winner of the poster that is to serve as the official overall race poster. Montrose, Colo., resident and long-time cycling enthusiast Leanna Johnson created the winning design. Designs for the contest were submitted from 23 different states.

The 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge professional cycling stage race, takes place Aug. 20-26.

This year’s race will take the riders to an altitude of 12,000 feet three separate times and will include a finish on the iconic Flagstaff Mountain.

“In determining the route for the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, we wanted to showcase as much of the Rocky Mountains as possible, while creating a challenging course for the riders that would provide ideal viewing locations for spectators,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. “This year, the route will take the riders through more mountain passes than any other race of its kind, with five topping out at a minimum of 10,000 feet.”

New in 2012, is the placement of the individual time trial on the final day of racing in Denver, keeping fans waiting until the end to see who will be awarded the overall victory of the seven days of racing.

Colorado Springs, host to the Stage 5 finish and the race’s only finishing circuits, is tailor-made for sprinters, Hunter said. Riders will climb up through Garden of the Gods where they have one last chance to steal a win as they head into downtown.

The race takes riders from Durango to Telluride; from  Montrose to Crested Butte; from Gunnison to Aspen;  from Aspen to Beaver Creek; from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs; from Golden to Boulder; and will end in Denver with the time trials.

The Colorado Springs poster design features Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s 53 fourteeners, and Garden of the Gods Park.

“The fantastic poster design James Billiter created captures the iconic backdrop of the Pikes Peak region,” said Meredith Vaughan, co-chair, Colorado Springs local race organizing committee. “In the inaugural race last year, cyclists and spectators marveled at the natural beauty of the area, making this year’s Stage 5 finish a visual delight in the seven day race.”

All of the stage posters and the overall race poster will be produced and sold online and onsite during the race August 20-26.