USA Pro Challenge: Colorado Bike Tour
USA Pro Challenge Tour 2014: Colorado Bike Tour
Join Lizard Head Cycling for a celebration of cycling across the state of Colorado on the USA Pro Challenge.
USA Pro Challenge: Synopsis
A 7-day cycling festival across Colorado: Colorado based Lizard Head Cycling Guides offers a well-crafted bike tour that rides ahead and intersects the 7-day USA Pro Challenge bike race across Colorado. New venues and cities in Colorado’s northern reaches will play host this year to the challenge.
Ride your bike, sleep in style & enjoy great food while immersed in a celebratory atmosphere: Lizard Head Cycling knows Colorado’s least traveled side roads, the best lodging and where to find the state’s best malt shops & microbrews. Join Us!
- Read a local article by the Telluride Watch on the USA Pro Challenge’s visit to our corner of the state.
- Read what the New York Times, Washington Post and others have to say about Lizard Head Cycling Guides in our In the Press page
Chased by the Peloton! Lizard Head Cycling Guides’ 2014 tour will feature four stages in which we will be “chased by the peloton.” What this means is that we will ride the race route just hours before the pros along roads that are largely closed to traffic. If fast enough, you can reach the finish line ahead of the pros. If staying ahead is not your game, stop and enjoy a mountain top catered lunch with our support vehicle. Everyone wins…
August 17th – 23rd, 2014
7 days/ 7 nights
350 up to 550 miles
Riding through Rocky Mt. National Park: USA Pro Cycling Challenge
Logistics: 2014 USA Pro Challenge: Colorado Bike Tour
“Cycling is one of the only sports that explores and showcases the world around us. There are no stadiums to restrict spectators and no roofs to shield its athletes from the elements. Its arena is landscape, and landscape revels its true secrets from the heavens. The Colorado Rockies are about as close to heaven as one can climb in North America”
2014 Meeting Town: Denver, Colorado: La Quinta Inn, Denver Airport, 7 a.m. Sunday, August 17th, 2014
2014 Departure Town: Denver, Colorado: Sunday, August 23rd, 2014
Tour Length: 7 days (7 nights of lodging & 7 days of riding)
Tour Support: One 15-passenger van & trailer & chase vehicle
Total Miles: 350 up to 550 total mileage options
Mileage Range: 25 to 123
Ability Level: Although Lizard Head Cycling’s USA Cycling Tour of Colorado is challenging tour at altitude, intermediate cyclists have, and will, enjoy this tour. A combination of car-free roads and three support vehicles makes this tour well suited for intermediate to advanced cyclists. In summary, Lizard Head’s Pro Challenge Tour of Colorado offers as much challenge one could want while offering lower mileage options for intermediate cyclists. Multiple vehicles will support the 2013 tour offering support for an “A” group and a “B” group. Ride as fast or as leisurely as you like!
The 2014 tour cost is $3,695- A deposit of $950- secures a spot.
The 2014 tour includes: A full 7-nights of exceotional lodging (double occupancy), 6 days of meals (alcohol additional), shuttles, all taxes, guide service, entrance fees, energy food, a fresh lunch each day and mechanical support. A massage therapist travels with many of our tours. Guests pay massage therapist directly.
Bike Rental: For 2014 Lizard Head Cycling is proud to rent Scott CR1 Pro carbon road bikes with Shimano Ultegra (Only $250- week). The Scott CR-1 is a sub 17-lb, lightweight, high performance, bike geared for climbing hills.
Single Rooms: Add $695- single supplement based on availability. If cyclist is willing to share room, there is no additional cost.
Explore Colorado by Bike
The opportunity to ride hundreds of miles across Colorado mountain roads that are closed or will soon be close to vehicles is reason enough to join our USA Cycling Challenge Bike Tour. Add in the access to Pro racers, the palpable excitement and good cheer along the route (in 2011 the fans cheered for a pack of gutsy flat-landers from Ohio) and this creates a highlight tour in Colorado.
Top Teams and Racers: This event brings top racers to Colorado such as the Schleck brothers, Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, Jenn Voight, Christian Vande Velde and Levi Leipheimer. Lizard Head Cycling stays in many of the same hotels as Pro Cycling teams such as LiquiGas, Radio Shack and Garmin Cervelo.
The Lizard is Loose at 2011 Stage One Finish of the US Pro Cycling Challenge
Am I in good enough shape?
Ride Difficulty: Lizard Head Cycling’s USA Pro Challenge accommodates both riders who wish to ride from Point A to Point B with few stops and riders looking to enjoy riding at a relaxed pace. Both intermediate cyclists new to multi-day tours and serious 5,000-mile-a-year-hammer heads have ridden this tour in previous years. Easily accessible shuttle options, two support vans and multiple aid stations allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy this tour.
See How the Shuttle Works in the Tour Beta section below.
“The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the most demanding bike race ever held on American soil, with racers experiencing breathless altitudes, day after day. The race is on the level of the Tour de France, bringing the high speeds, danger and adrenaline of professional biking to elevations over two-miles high across some of the most picturesque terrain in the world—the Colorado Rocky Mountains.”
2013 Itinerary: USA Pro Challenge Colorado Bike Tour
Tour Meeting Day: 7 a.m. Sunday August 17th, 2013: La Quinta Inn Denver Airport
On Sunday morning we’ll meet the guests at the La Quinta Inn at the Denver International Airport and shuttle to the race’s 2014 start town of Aspen, Colorado. Guests can also meet the tour at the first night’s lodging in Aspen at the Limelight Hotel.
2014: Day 0 (Sunday): Aspen to Maroon Bells: 21 Miles
Cyclists will begin their tour Sunday afternoon with a real Aspen cycling classic: the Maroon Creek Road. Starting off at 7,900 feet, the 11-mile climb is nothing short of a picturesque alpine landscape with the iconic peaks of the Elk Mountains. Pyramid Peak rises in grandeur to 14,018 feet near its sister 14-ers, the Maroon Bells. Because this area is such a geographic beauty, vehicle regulation are in place and the road is closed to vehicles daily from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. except for shuttle buses and the occasional car. The Maroon Bells Wilderness Area spans a steep 30-mile section of the Elk Mountains with elevations reaching upwards of 14,000 feet.
After pedaling below the splendor of the Elk Mountains’ Maroon Bells, enjoying two evenings at the Limelight Hotel in downtown Aspen and all of the swank of the state’s most posh little city.
Aspen, the quintessential resort town of Colorado, has it all and with the race entourage staying in town this evening the atmosphere is sure to be electric.
Lodging and dinner in Aspen will be shared with the Pro athletes at the Limelight Lodge in downtown Aspen. As the newest hotel in town, the Limelight Lodge, is centrally located in Aspen’s incomparable outdoor red pave’ pedestrian malls with world class shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
Stage 1 (Monday): Aspen to Snowmass Loop: 21 Miles
NOTE: AS OF NOVEMBER 9TH, 2014 ROUTE DETAILS ARE PENDING:
INSTANT ACCESS TO FULL ITINERARY
Please provide us with your name and email address and the Entire Trip Itinerary Will Appear.
NOTE: We only occasionally send newsletters & would never give your email to another organization.
2014 Stage 2 (Tuesday): Aspen to Crested Butte (65-105 miles)
Stage Description and Updated Maps will be Posted Shortly
2014 Stage 3 (Wednesday): Gunnison to Monarch Mountain (65 miles)
Race the peloton to the top of Monarch Mountain to watch the pros ride through, and then enjoy a casual descent down the mountain to Salida, where hot springs and fine food will make for a relaxing afternoon and evening. After dinner by the river, riders will be shuttled to the base of Pikes Peak and Wednesday night’s lodging.
2014 Stage 4 (Thursday): Colorado Springs
Updated Maps will be Posted Shortly
2014 Stage 5 (Friday) Woodland Park to Breckenridge (87 miles)
Stage Description and Updated Maps will be Posted Shortly
Fun & Games on the Road
2014 Stage 6: Rocky Mountain National Park to Boulder:
96 Miles of Rocky Mountain High!
On the final day of Lizard Head Cycling’s 2014 USA Pro Challenge tour cyclists will ride one of the most stunning roads in North America, Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park. Trail Ridge road is considered the “highest continuously paved road” in North American.
On Lizard Head Cycling’s three previous USA Pro Challenge tours Rocky Mountain National Park has proven a highlight experience. Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to once again offer this stage as the final ride of its USA Pro Challenge Tour of Colorado.
48-mile Trail Ridge is the “highest continuously paved road in North America” featuring 12-miles above 12,000-feet with a maximum elevation of 12,183-feet. Here you literally feel “On Top of the World”! The snow melt trickling down nooks and crannies all around you are the headwaters of the mighty Colorado River. Native Americans used this route as a path across the Colorado Rockies. The paved road which opened in 1920 represents a literal highlight of Lizard Head Cycling’s Tour of Colorado Tour.
After the descent from Rocky Mountain National Park cyclists reach Estes Park, CO and then head south for 30 miles on yet another Colorado cycling gem, the Peak-to-Peak Highway. Dominated by views of Long’s Peak (14,259′) and Mount Meeker (13,911), this Designated Scenic Byway offers some of the state’s most bracing scenery. We finish this epic day, this epic tour, fittingly with a long, twisting plunge down Left Hand Canyon to the bike crazed mecca of Boulder, CO. The total descent on this stage is well over 10,000-feet!
After arriving in Boulder we’ll settle into the Marriott Courtyard Boulder before heading out onto the festive Boulder pedestrian plaza for a fair-well dinner at The Kitchen.
The next day Sunday cyclists can choose to fly out in the morning or opt to witness the final circuit race of the USA Pro Challenge in downtown Denver and then fly out in the late afternoon or evening.
View Quizno's Day 6: Grand Lake/RM Nat Park/Boulder in a larger map
Note: Click between the “earth”, “map” and “terrain” buttons for varying views.
Day 7: Trail Ridge Road to Boulder: 96 miles
Click here: Day 6 Route Flyover for a birds-eye view of the Day 6 Route in Google Earth. When the link opens click on “Download” or “Open”, then “Open” and the tour will start. If you don’t have Google Earth you can download it here: Download Google Earth
Stage 7: USA Pro Cycling Circuit Race in Denver or Departure Day
Fly out in the morning or shuttle downtown to view the final time trial in Denver and then fly out in the late afternoon/evening.
2014 Tour Beta: USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Colorado Bike Tour
- Tour Riders: 12 to 25
- How the Shuttle and Mileage Options Work:
Lizard Head Cycling’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge Tour is designed to offer cyclists a significant challenge while at the same time providing easily accessible mileage options for cyclists of varying fitness levels. This system works with a support vehicle that jumps ahead rather than “sags” to set up aid stations along the route. Cyclists customize their experience by choosing to start each day’s ride from the hotel, or the first aid station, or after the day’s big hill. As an example if a cyclists cuts off 25 miles each day, the 475 mile Ride of Colorado Tour’s distance is cut to 300 miles over 7 days (43 miles per day).
Will Colorado’s High Altitudes Affect Me?
Yes, everyone rides slower at altitude. The key to enjoying the high mountains is restful sleep at day’s end. Diamox is a drug used as a means to prevent altitude sickness and shortness of breath for mountain climbers. Previous Lizard Head Cycling clients have used it with success for the USA Pro CC. One would start using Diamox shortly prior to the tour or when symptoms develop. It can be discontinued at any time. Follow this link to learn more: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/
drug-6753-Diamox+Oral.aspx? drugid=6753&drugname=Diamox+ Oral. Most of the riding on the Tour of Colorado takes place between 8K and 9,500K with forays over the highest passes to 11K and 12K. The sleeping takes place at 8K to 9K. The important thing is to sleep well, Diamox helps.
Lizard Head Cycling recommends clients purchase Travel Insurance through MH Ross Travel Insurance. Lizard Head Cycling can directly set up a policy for its clients or clients can purchase insurance individually through the sales link below.
The estimated cost for a 50-year old buying a $2,500- tour ranges from $100- (standard plan) to about $200- (cancel for any reason plan).
Lizard Head Cycling Guides Custom Sales Portal Link is:
Please visit our blog for more information on travel insurance.