USA Pro Cycling Challenge

August 21 brought hordes of people, cars and bikes to Crested Butte, Colorado for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Crested Butte was a host town in the second stage of the week-long cycling race extending across the rocky mountains of Colorado. What impressed me most about the race was the amount of vehicles required to support the racers, the course and the fans. From cameras in helicopters and motorcycles to broadcast the race to the world, to support vans carrying backup bikes to semis hauling stages and tents to each host city, the amount of fuel required for the human-powered race was must have been enormous.

But despite my awe at the amount of cars, the speed of the racers was even more amazing. They zoom down mountain passes at more than sixty mph and I barely snapped my shutter a few times before the racers were out of my sight and on to the finish. Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing Team won the second stage of the race that ran through Crested Butte.

The frontrunners begin the last climb to the stage 2 finish after biking 99.2 miles from Montrose, Colorado.

Fans watched from the roadside and motorbikes with video cameras followed the racers. The winner of Stage 2 finished in 3:52.24.

The “peloton” or main group of bikers rides below Mt. Crested Butte.

The total climb between Montrose and Crested Butte measured 8042 feet. Here the bikers begin “The Last Steep,” the final climb before the finish.

Along with the caravan comes the wild fans. Dore Holte, also known as “Raging Stag,” was cheering on his favorite riders. This is his second USA Pro he has attended.

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