New site allows for virtual ride through USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Cycling enthusiasts can now take a virtual ride of stage five of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and see how the race winds from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs.

Vladimir Jones, the Colorado Springs firm working on public relations for the state race, designed a website called RideStage5.com. The site provides details about the route’s terrain and race information – where the cyclists reach the maximum elevation of 11,359 feet, and when racers are most likely to break away from the pack.

The Aug. 20-26 race, which is classified as second only to the Tour de France, cyclists will race out of Breckenridge to downtown Colorado Springs in stage five of the seven-day race.

Colorado Springs made an intentional bid on one of the last legs of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge race, banking on the idea that later stages of the seven-day race will bring more visitors to the area. Colorado Springs is hoping to double its attendance in 2012, and possibly double this year’s estimated $2 million economic impact in Springs’ hotels and restaurants.

The new website uses Google Earth 3-D map imagery, and its designers added notes to give users course stats, race events and local attractions. Users can follow the cyclists along the course.

“As outdoor and cycling enthusiasts at heart, our digital team really wanted to bring stage 5 to life for our users, while also providing a tangible and informative user experience,” said Alan Rhatigan, interactive art director at Vladimir Jones.