Pro Challenge to blow past Springs in 2013

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The 2013 Pro Challenge won’t cycle through Colorado Springs in its third annual statewide race.

The week-long race, set to begin Aug. 19 in Aspen, runs through Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Beaver Creek, Vail, Loveland, Fort Collins and ends in Denver Aug. 25.

Colorado Springs bid on the chance to be included once again, but Pro Challenge officials  announcement this morning that the Springs did not make the cut.

The USA Pro Challenge website lists the seven stages. Mike Moran from the Colorado Springs Sports Corp. said he was disappointed but hopes the city has a chance to bid on future races.

Colorado Springs, he said, had a hand in building the race to its huge success in its first two years. The Pro Challenge, dubbed America’s race, is second in stature to the Tour de France and attracts world-class cycling competitors from across the globe.

In its first year, Colorado Springs hosted to the race’s timed trials. The Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau put the race’s economic impact on the city at $2 million and said that is a conservative figure.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge officials said the seven-day race had and $83.5 million in economic impact in its first year, according to an analysis by race organizer Medalist Sports.

This year, 100 cyclists sprinted into downtown Colorado Springs concluding the USA Pro Challenge’s Stage 5. Officials said it was great national and world exposure for the city, which was coming off the heels of Waldo Canyon fire and news coverage that sent a message that the city had burned.

USA Pro Challenge race organizers say that each of the first two races in the state drew  more than 1 million fans and generated nearly $200 million in cumulative economic impact for the State of Colorado.

The Colorado Springs Local Organizing Committee, led by cyclist and business owner Chris Carmichael, said no city knows what the route will be when they make a bid to be a host city in the race.

“That is part of the process that the race organizers have selecting the route,” he said. “They don’t give you any idea what it is — they don’t know until they get all the bids in and look at what could be potential cities.”

Even the Tour de France is set up that way, he said. It always ends in Paris, but could start and go through any number of cities. Colorado Springs is fortunate to have been part of the race two consecutive years, he said.

In the meantime, the local organizing committee executive board will stay active and plot its next bid.

“I’m confident we will have the race back in the future,” Carmichael said.

A number of criteria were taken into consideration when evaluating potential host cities, including full city services support. The race also considered commitments in the areas of lodging, volunteer recruitment, marketing and local tourism, as well as an ability to host world-class athletes and promote the State of Colorado, said Shawn Hunter, CEO and co-chairman of the USA Pro Challenge.

In 2013, the USA Pro Challenge will make its debut in Fort Collins and Loveland and will return to cities like Steamboat Springs, Vail and Denver.

The host cities and stages of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge include:

  • Aug. 19    Stage 1   Aspen/Snowmass Circuit
  • Aug. 20   Stage 2   Aspen/Snowmass – Breckenridge
  • Aug. 21   Stage 3   Breckenridge – Steamboat Springs
  • Aug. 22   Stage 4   Steamboat Springs – Beaver Creek
  • Aug. 23   Stage 5/ITT   Vail Time Trial
  • Aug. 24   Stage 6   Loveland – Fort Collins
  • Aug. 25   Stage 7   Denver Circuit

“Riders now know that there is no race in America like the USA Pro Challenge, and these host cities help ensure cycling’s world stage returns to Colorado for seven days of grueling competition,” Hunter said.  “Each of these communities will be on an international stage as we partner with them to ensure the USA Pro Challenge takes its place as America’s greatest race.”



2 Responses to Pro Challenge to blow past Springs in 2013

  1. “Disappointed”? Not the right response…outraged would be better. El Paso County is the most populous county in the entire state and the race just skips us?

    Did you get any reasons why? I can’t believe it’s just a random stroke of bad luck. “Whoops, we missed Colorado Springs. Oh well, better luck next year!”

    I’d be fishing for answers. Is it something we need to fix?

    December 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  2. Heh, and I love Hickenlooper’s comment: “…a week long advertisement for our state…” Except that it misses some of our state’s biggest icons.

    That’s like an Apple advertisement reading “It’s black, and small, and has some glass on it…oh, we almost forgot, it’s a PHONE too!”

    December 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm