USA Pro Challenge: A Steamboat Springs welcome to the USA Pro Challenge |

USA Pro Challenge: A Steamboat Springs welcome to the USA Pro Challenge

Jim Schneider and Kara Stoller/For Steamboat Today

Jim Schneider and Kara Stoller, Local Organizing Committee co-chairs, at the 2013 USA Pro Challenge.

— Bienvenue, Willkommen, Bienvenida, Dobrodošli, Wilkomme, Bem-vindo, дабро запрашаем, Welkom, Laukiamas, добре дошъл, Ласкаво просимо, Velkommen, Қош келдіңіз!, Powitanie, Vítejte, добро пожаловать, Welcome!

Whether you live here, are from just down the road or around the globe, let us be the first to welcome you to Bike Town USA® and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. On behalf of the entire community, we're excited to be kicking off this spectacular race and hosting Stages 1 and 2 of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge.

This race features the world's top riders from all your favorite teams competing as they endure the highest elevations in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Traveling at blistering speeds, riders risk it all in this high-speed, high-adrenaline competition with you right there at every turn. Seven days, nine cities, 605 miles (974 kilometers) and 42,000 feet (12,802 meters) of climbing across Colorado, and it all starts right here in Steamboat Springs.

Of course, this event is made possible through the generous support of the City of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Grand, Sheraton Steamboat Resort, Steamboat Resorts by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Mountain Resorts, SmartWool, Orange Peel, Easy 94.1/ESPN Radio, Christy Sports, Steamboat Pilot & Today, Deer Park Road Corp., Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare, Ski Town Lifestyle Properties, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., Steamboat Orthopedics, Routt County, Colorado Group Realty, E3 Chophouse, Schmiggity's, Doc's Auto Clinic, Holiday Inn, Black Tie Ski Rentals and Ski Haus.

In addition, hundreds of volunteers, many from right here, play a vital role in showcasing the Steamboat stages to the world. Along with each and every resident, who have opened their hometown by welcoming the event, organizers, riders, teams, NBC crew and media from around the world into the Yampa Valley, THANK YOU!

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Steamboat may be known for its winters, but when the Champagne Powder® snow melts, wildflowers blossom, biking and hiking trails are unearthed, the Yampa River flows for kayaking, rafting, tubing and fly-fishing, hot springs bubble away and Fish Creek Falls shows its might.

Restaurants have developed their own distinct culinary flair that will satisfy even the most discriminating palate. A real western community built around the outdoor lifestyle and a collective sense of place, Steamboat Springs is a bonafide mountain town in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Rocky Mountains.

As the valley's earliest inhabitants, the Ute tribe prescribed hundreds of years ago, "Once you visit this magical place, you are forever destined to return." We know that will be the case after you experience Steamboat and our town's genuine friendliness and natural beauty.

The USA Pro Challenge is racing into history and our hearts as Steamboat Springs gets ready to host stages for the third time. Please respect the race, respect the riders and respect each other. It's going to be an exciting and action-packed event, so have fun, be safe and enjoy all that Steamboat has to offer during your time here.

Nine million people are expected to watch the race, now in its fifth year and the largest spectator event in Colorado. Even if you don't know the difference between drafting and a derailleur, we know you'll have a wonderful time and a lot of pure Rocky Mountain fun enjoying free entertainment and festivities, finish line celebrations and watching the peloton over two days in Steamboat Springs.

So until we see you again, welcome to Steamboat — Bike Town USA and Stages 1 and 2 of the USA Pro Challenge.

Jim Schneider and Kara Stoller are co-charis of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge.