From Wednesday’s grueling Stage 3 mountaintop finish at Monarch Mountain Ski Area, the USA Pro Challenge jumps to the Front Range for Stage 4. While at first glance one might assume a circuit course in Colorado Springs would make for a flat, fast-paced day, the reality could be anything but. Starting at The Broadmore hotel, the peloton will enter a 16-mile circuit that will be raced four times. Each lap will include a daunting trip up and over Colorado’s famous Garden of the Gods. Sections of the short, steep climbs include grades of up to 17 percent. Each lap of the course, which covers a total distance of about 70 miles, will have riders gaining a little more than 500 feet of elevation with a steep dip and climb at the top of the Garden of the Gods before the longer descent. Climbers and sprinters will both have their time to shine, with four King of the Mountain (KOM) climbs at the Garden of the Gods — one during each lap — and three sprints — at the finish line of laps 1, 2 and 4. Look for some of the top riders to get some separation in this stage.
Stage 4 gets underway with an 12:50 p.m. start. Organizers expect racers to finish around 3:50 p.m. Live race coverage will be broadcast on NBCSN from 1:30 to 4 p.m.; an evening recap runs from 8-9 p.m.
The Pro Challenge comes to Breckenridge Friday, Aug. 22, for Stage 5. Riders will start the day in Woodland Park — 11:20 a.m. start — ride through the Pike National Forest and up and over Hoosier Pass before arriving in Breckenridge.