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USA Pro Challenge Bicycle Race Coming to Fort Collins in 2013

Fort Collins is actively improving its reputation throughout the nation and the world. People from the music scene are sending representatives out to tell people about the great musicians that play and live here. The breweries are expanding to more and more markets all the time. Businesses are moving in. The downtown was voted the best in America.

Add more good news to all that.

The nation’s most challenging cycling race will call Northern Colorado home in 2013. The USA Pro Challenge announced its host cities today, naming Northern Colorado as the host for stage 6 on Saturday August 24, 2013.  The proposed route would start in Loveland, head east through Windsor, up through Estes Park and finish in Fort Collins.

After drawing more than 1 million fans in the first two years and generating nearly $200 million in cumulative economic impact for the State of Colorado, the Pro Challenge will make its debut in Loveland, Windsor, Estes Park and Fort Collins in 2013, bringing many of the world’s best riders along with it.

“We are thrilled that Northern Colorado will be host to the 2013 Pro Cycling Challenge. Through a regional collaborative effort, we were able to submit a successful bid,” said Cecil Guitierrez, Mayor of the City of Loveland. “We look forward to showcasing the spectacular and picturesque beauty of Northern Colorado.”

Karen Weitkunat, Mayor of Fort Collins says, “Our community is eager to host the finish in beautiful Fort Collins. I am proud of the regional collaboration we demonstrated in partnership with Loveland, Windsor and Estes Park. I am confident you will find strong participation and support from northern Colorado’s residents, businesses and organizations.”

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

  • Monday, Aug. 19: Stage 1 – Aspen/Snowmass Circuit
  • Tuesday, Aug. 20: Stage 2 – Aspen/Snowmass – Breckenridge
  • Wednesday, Aug. 21: Stage 3 – Breckenridge – Steamboat Springs
  • Thursday, Aug. 22: Stage 4 – Steamboat Springs – Beaver Creek
  • Friday, Aug. 23: Stage 5/ITT – Vail Time Trial
  • Saturday, Aug. 24: Stage 6 – Loveland – Fort Collins
  • Sunday, 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,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO and Co-Chairman of the USA Pro Challenge. “Each of these communities will be on an international stage as we partner with them to ensure the Pro Challenge takes its place as America’s greatest race.”

In just two years, the Pro Challenge has established itself as one of the most challenging and competitive races in the world, drawing the best cyclists in the sport and accolades from around the world.

“When you combine the high-altitude climbs, the enthusiasm of the crowds and the level of competition, the Pro Challenge is one of my favorite race weeks, “ said Christian Vandevelde, the overall winner of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge. “I can’t wait to get back in 2013 and defend the title with my Garmin-Sharp teammates.”

Further details of the start and finish line locations, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring. With its consolidated footprint and multiple back-to-back stages, the 2013 race will ensure that spectators in host cities will have many opportunities to root for their favorite rider or team.

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.

About the USA Pro Challenge

For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure – more than two miles in elevation. One of the largest cycling events in United States history, the 2012 race will feature the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery.

Referred to as “America’s Race,” the third annual USA Pro Challenge will take place August 19-26, 2012. More than 1 million spectators are expected to once again line the route  in 2013, while millions more around the world will watch the race on television and online through the Tour Tracker. The two previous winners of the Pro Challenge were Levi Leipheimer and Christian Vandevelde.

More information can be found on the website www.USAProCyclingChallenge.com and Twitter page @USAProChallenge.

Additional local contacts:

Bob Herrfeldt, 970.566.3771, bherrfeldt@larimer.org

Eric Thomson, 970.232.4364, ethompson@thegroupinc.com

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