Lake County Celebrates the PROS!
Living in the Highest Incorporated City in America in the middle of the best state in the union does have its advantages. And one of those will be passing through the area TWICE in the next two days. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is being watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators around the world. The event is being broadcast LIVE by NBC and Versus TV, giving Leadville and Lake County one more opportunity to shine before a global audience.
Last year, the race skirted the southern part of the county, traveling through Twin Lakes and saw 6,000 cycling fans line Highway 82 up Independence Pass to watch world-class athletes battle it out for the King of the Mountain claim.
Today, the race will again take that route, placing Twin Lake Village on the international stage. And tomorrow the racers will get even closer, blazing down Harrison Avenue, which will include the only Sprint for Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Below you will find information regarding how to watch the race – LIVE – online through Pro Tracker, what traffic and road closures will be in place in the area the next two days and the Hometown Celebration planned for Leadville. Come out and watch the Pros as Leadville and Lake County capture the global spotlight once again!
The USA Pro Challenge will come through Lake County today and tomorrow. If you live in Lake County, are coming to see the BIG RACE, or will be traveling through Lake County Aug. 22 & 23, please make note of the following road closures and delays. In the following videos, Lake County Emergency Manager and Local Impact Coordinator for the USA Pro Challenge discusses road closures parking and commuter impact to Leadville and Lake County over the next two days.
Wednesday, August 22 – Traffic Impact
Thursday, August 23 – Traffic Impact
Join in the Hometown Celebration on Thurs – August 23
Leadville will be rolling out the welcome mat to host the world-class athletes and the thousands of fans anticipated to come and watch the event. The “Hometown Celebration” will include a parade, many fun-filled, bike-oriented events and some live music from locals’ favorite Leadville Cherokee will round out the day’s festivities on Thursday Aug. 23.
So get your group together or go solo, but be sure to be a part of the fun. For participation form, CLICK HERE.
Leadville will also have the only Sprint included on Stage 4 of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
So a quick translation of what this means for all you non-cycling geeks: more spectators, more racing fans and more tourism for Lake County.
“The Sprint on Harrison Ave. will begin somewhere around the southern curve of Hwy 24, just as it turns into Harrison Ave, with the finish line ending at the stoplight,” explains Bordogna. This will also give racers time to recover before they head into that 90 degree turn on 9th Street and blaze out of town en route to Beaver Creek.
Another translation for the non-cycling geek: A Sprint is a short race within a race where competitors “turn on the power” for approximately a half mile with speeds of up to 50 mph. The first racer to cross the Sprint finish line wins a special prize. This event will draw even more spectators into downtown to cheer on their favorite Sprint racer.
“This will make Leadville a hub for people coming to watch the race,” says Bordogna, but quickly followed up with, “Even though it is a time when our citizens and businesses are already taxed, it is a great opportunity for them to try one last big effort in rounding up those dollars from tourists.”
It’s worth noting that according to race organizers, participating cities generally need to come up with roughly $250,000 to host a stage of the race. Certainly that’s what Durango and Boulder are anticipating as the start and finish for the race. So what about Leadville and Lake County – what’s the price tag?
“My hope is that we can garner that same type of attention (as the host cities) without spending the money,” said Bordogna.
About the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
For seven consecutive days, the world’s top athletes race through the majestic Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure – more than two miles in elevation. One of the largest cycling events in United States history, the 2012 race will feature the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery.
Referred to as “America’s Race,” the second annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge will take place August 20-26, 2012. More than 1 million spectators are expected to once again line the route to see if Levi Leipheimer will defend his title as winner of the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, while millions more around the world will watch the race on television and online through the Tour Tracker.
The inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge attracted more than 1 million spectators from around the state, the country and the world, and the Colorado economy was the beneficiary of $83.5 million in economic impact thanks to a successful first-year event, which took place August 22-28 and visited 11 Colorado host communities. As a virtual postcard for the State of Colorado, the race received 25 hours of national television coverage on NBC and Versus, in addition to airing in 161 countries and territories internationally.
The race has also been upgraded to a 2.HC ranking, “the highest registration level next to the Tour de France,” according to race promoters. For the full 2012 stage breakdown, and list of all the participating pro-cyclists, visit www.USAProCyclingChallenge.com.