1. What is this race?
The USA Pro Challenge is a seven-day professional cycling race attracting many of the top cyclists in the world and is again expected to be one of the largest spectator sporting events in the U.S. Breckenridge has been chosen as a host city for the third consecutive year. This year, the town hosts the Stage 2 finish and the Stage 3 start.
2. When is the race?
The seven-day stage race takes place Monday, Aug. 19, through Sunday, Aug. 25. Breckenridge is hosting the Stage 2 finish on Tuesday, Aug. 20, and also the Stage 3 start on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
3. When should spectators arrive in Breckenridge?
The earlier the better — there will be plenty of activities, shopping and dining options. The Stage 2 finish on Tuesday, Aug. 20, is scheduled for approximately 3:30 p.m., but the town will have many events starting at 1 p.m., including bike stunt shows, a handcycling competition, junior street sprint finals and a free concert by Railroad Earth at 5:30 p.m. The Finish Festival will be hopping with action from 1 to 6 p.m. For prime viewing spots and to soak in the energy before the racers arrive, the town recommends that spectators be where they want to be before 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20.
On Wednesday, Aug. 21, the Start Village opens at 9 a.m. with activities including strider races, bike stunt shows and pond-crossing competitions. Stage 3 is slated to start at approximately 11 a.m. For access to the racers during their warm-ups, spectators should be where they want to be before 9 a.m. Wednesday.
4. Where are the routes and best viewing locations?
The Stage 2 finish line on Tuesday, Aug. 20, is on the corner of Washington and South Main Streets near Blue River Plaza. After coming over Hoosier Pass, the race will barrel into town and turn left on South Park Avenue. Heading northbound, racers will turn right on French Street, cross Main Street, head around the curve and then left on Wellington Road. Racers will turn right on Royal Tiger and then left on Highpoint as they tackle the short but stiff climb up Moonstone for King of the Mountain points. They will then turn right and descend Boreas Pass Road back into town and finish on Main Street.
The best vantage points to see the action will be Highpoint, Moonstone, Boreas Pass Road and Main Street. The start line for Stage 3 is also on Main Street, near Blue River Plaza. The race first heads north on Main Street, veers left onto French Street and makes two neutral, or “parade,” laps around Park and Main before heading north out of town on Highway 9 and climbing over Swan Mountain Road. The best vantage points to see the action will be anywhere on Main Street or Park Avenue to watch the neutral laps.
5. Is there a fee to view the race?
No — the race is free to watch in Breckenridge. There will be a Jumbotron located on the Riverwalk Center lawn all week for race day viewing and for nighttime film features. On Tuesday, Aug. 20, multiple Jumbotrons will be located throughout town for race viewing.
6. Where is parking? What about bike parking?
On Tuesday, Aug. 20, the most convenient parking will be at the Satellite Lot to the north of town off of Highway 9 and Airport Road; there will be dedicated shuttles to bring spectators to the action. On Wednesday, Aug. 21, there will be parking in the following lots: Gold Rush, Ice Rink, Klack Placer, Upper and Lower Exchange, Tonopah, Sawmill/Wellington, Court House, French Street. The three-hour limits posted in lots will not be enforced both these days.
Bike parking (bring a lock) will be available at two locations: the corner of Washington and Ridge (near Twist and Hearthstone Restaurant) and at The Sons of Norway park, just south of Blue River Plaza, across the river from the Riverwalk Center Lawn.
7. Are dogs allowed?
No, for the safety of dogs and racers, this is a no pet event and dogs will not be allowed (leashed or unleashed) at the race start or finish or along the race route.
8. What about drinking water and trash?
Bring your reusable water bottles to fill up at water-filling stations with Breckenridge water. There will be Zero Waste tents throughout the event; look for Zero Heroes to help dispose of trash, recyclables and compostable items properly.
9. Is camping allowed along the race route in Breckenridge?
There is no camping allowed along the race route within the town limits of either Breckenridge or Blue River. Camping is allowed along the race route south of the Blue River town limits in unincorporated Summit County to the top of Hoosier Pass. For the Stage 3 route, there are some limited camping spots available in the U.S. Forest Service campground on Swan Mountain Road.
10. Where should spectators go for additional information?
For general race information, visit usaprocyclingchallenge.com. For Breckenridge-specific information, visit breckprocycling.com, facebook.com/breckenridgeqpc, Twitter @breckprocycling; or gobreck.com. For Breckenridge road and parking updates, via Twitter @BreckPolice. For Summit County roads, sign up for alerts at scalert.org. For Colorado roads, visit cotrip.org/content/usapcc for specific race route closure updates. Or pick up a copy of the USA Pro Challenge bike program from boxes along the route in Breckenridge.