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Busy weekend awaits for USA Pro Challenge

Riders in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge head toward Steamboat Springs on U.S. Highway 40. The race returns to Steamboat in August
Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat’s wild weekend: A tentative schedule

Friday, August 14

5:30 p.m. — Art Steamboat Award Ceremony

7 p.m. — Mountain Music Series, Freddy Jones Band

7:30 p.m. — Routt County Fair Demolition Derby

Saturday, August 15

All day — Routt County Fair

Morning — Go Ride Steamboat Pro Challenge bike rides

8 a.m. — Steamboat Stinger mountain bike race start

9 a.m. — Yampa River Art Stroll, to 5 p.m.

5 p.m. — Free Summer Concert Series, Jeff Austin Band

7:30 p.m. — Candide, Emerald City Opera

7:30 p.m. — Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo

Sunday, August 16

All day — Routt County Fair

7:30 a.m. — Steamboat Stinger trail marathon start

8 a.m. — Steamboat Triathlon start

9 a.m. — Yampa River Art Stroll, to 5 p.m.

Monday, August 17

Music and activities will be ongoing throughout the day centered around a downtown stage at Seventh and Yampa.

10:50 a.m. — Rider sign in

11: 50 a.m. — Stage 1 starts, downtown Steamboat Springs

3:45 p.m. — Stage 1 finish (approximately), downtown Steamboat Springs

Tuesday, August 18

10 a.m. — Race village opens, Gondola Square

11:10 a.m. — Start ceremonies begin for Stage 2, Gondola Square

11:25 a.m. — Race begins, headed for Arapahoe Basin

— There will be bike rides for citizens and chances for autographs, cowboys on bikes and cyclists on horses, music and movies, a beer garden and, oh yeah, two massive days of bike racing.

Speaking Tuesday morning at the Business Outlook Breakfast at Rex’s American Grill and Bar, local organizers unveiled some of the details of August’s USA Pro Challenge Steamboat Springs stages, and the picture they presented was one of a wildly busy four days that locals won’t soon forget.

“This could turn out to be one of the biggest weekends in Steamboat,” Jim Schneider said, “maybe in Steamboat’s history.”



Schneider and Kara Stoller, who head up the local organizing committee, briefed their plans and presented a rough schedule for the event.

Steamboat’s wild weekend: A tentative schedule

Friday, August 14



5:30 p.m. — Art Steamboat Award Ceremony

7 p.m. — Mountain Music Series, Freddy Jones Band

7:30 p.m. — Routt County Fair Demolition Derby

Saturday, August 15

All day — Routt County Fair

Morning — Go Ride Steamboat Pro Challenge bike rides

8 a.m. — Steamboat Stinger mountain bike race start

9 a.m. — Yampa River Art Stroll, to 5 p.m.

5 p.m. — Free Summer Concert Series, Jeff Austin Band

7:30 p.m. — Candide, Emerald City Opera

7:30 p.m. — Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo

Sunday, August 16

All day — Routt County Fair

7:30 a.m. — Steamboat Stinger trail marathon start

8 a.m. — Steamboat Triathlon start

9 a.m. — Yampa River Art Stroll, to 5 p.m.

Monday, August 17

Music and activities will be ongoing throughout the day centered around a downtown stage at Seventh and Yampa.

10:50 a.m. — Rider sign in

11: 50 a.m. — Stage 1 starts, downtown Steamboat Springs

3:45 p.m. — Stage 1 finish (approximately), downtown Steamboat Springs

Tuesday, August 18

10 a.m. — Race village opens, Gondola Square

11:10 a.m. — Start ceremonies begin for Stage 2, Gondola Square

11:25 a.m. — Race begins, headed for Arapahoe Basin

Two days of racing

The race itself gets underway Monday with Stage 1, starting with riders signing in at 10:50 a.m. and leading up to the race start at 11:50 a.m..

The race will begin with two short laps in downtown. Then, things really get going with two 49-mile circuits out Twentymile Road, up Colorado Highway 131 and back through downtown Steamboat Springs on Lincoln Avenue. That portion of the race should take a little less than four hours, putting the sprint finish in downtown at around 3:45 p.m.

Stage 2 will resemble the Pro Challenge’s 2013 Steamboat stop, with second-day action taking place in Gondola Square. That day’s events will begin at 10 a.m. with the opening of the race village — a good chance for autographs — continue at 11:10 a.m. with the start of ceremonies and wrap up with the start of the race itself at 11:25 a.m.

The second stage course finishes at Arapahoe Basin, and there is one new quirk in the route. To get around the construction on Colorado Highway 9, the route will stay on U.S. 40 through Kremmling, then turn south to get back to Colorado 9, as opposed to turning south on Colorado 9 in town as was originally planned.

A packed schedule

The days leading up to the race could be just as busy.

Schneider said he’s expecting teams to arrive in Steamboat Springs and train in the valley the week before the official start.

A “citizens ride” is scheduled for Aug. 15, as is a team presentation. The “Pro Challenge Festival” will begin Aug. 16 and run each day of the race’s stay in Steamboat.

Organizers hope to tie into an already jam-packed Steamboat schedule for that weekend, as well.

On the sports side, the Steamboat Stinger is set for Aug. 15 (with the sold-out mountain bike race) and Aug. 16 (for the still-available half- and full-marathon trail running races.) The Steamboat Triathlon, at nearby Lake Catamount, is set for Aug. 16, as well.

The Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo will be riding through its penultimate weekend of performances Aug. 14 and 15.

Away from sports, the Freddy Jones Band will play a Mountain Music Series event Aug. 14, while Jeff Austin will play a Free Summer Concert Series event Aug. 15 at Howelsen Hill.

The Steamboat All Arts Festival runs all week the week before and wraps up Aug. 15 and 16 with the Yampa River Art Stroll downtown. The Farmer’s Market will be in business Aug. 15, and, just for kicks, the Routt County Fair will be ongoing in Hayden all weekend.

“We’re trying to work with everyone to capitalize on this opportunity,” said Stoller, who spoke about working to get the various entities and events to cooperate.

That’s where the cowboy/cyclist crossovers could come in.

A stage will be set up in the empty lot at Seventh and Yampa streets that will host events throughout the weekend, then the Stage 1 award ceremony for the race Aug. 17.

Organizers said the race should bring international attention to Steamboat, and they’re preparing for more than just the cycling fans who will be in town. They’re working on a 30-second video clip that will air during the race broadcast.

“You can’t buy that kind of advertising,” Schneider said.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9


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