Starting in Aspen on August 19th, the third edition of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will tackle the state of Colorado. The lung busting race was originally named after the “tart and tangy” Chinese tea known as Red Zinger. Red Zinger may no longer be a part of the racing, but the name will always hold a special spot in the hearts and minds of American cycle racing fans. However, before it became the USA Pro Cycling Challenge it was called the Coors Classic. People from the Republic of Colorado hold on dearly to the things that they have, and when they stand near the top of one of their glorious Rocky Mountains and look around, why shouldn’t they?
The current tongue twister of a name was apparently chosen in case the race needed to go somewhere else. But, really, why would it?
Here are a few things we can come to expect from this year’s edition of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Colorado.
WorldTour & Team Sky
A lot of the WorldTour UCI teams present will be sending their big guns. BMC will surely try to follow up last years 2nd place finish with Tejay van Garderen. Same goes for the Garmin Sharp racers even though we have seen less of last year’s winner Christian Vande Velde. However, the real news comes in the form of Team Sky. There will be a trio of Americans rounding out the squad, most notably hometown hero Danny Pate. Compatriots Joe Dombrowski and Ian Boswell will also take a crack, so anything can happen.
The Mobile Cycle Club
We have dusted off ol ‘Hennie’ as he is known and given him a face lift. La Colombe have come back on to provide the coffee and support staff has been beefed up to handle the number of shots that need to be pulled on any given KOM. We have also created something special to help you, the fan, follow along throughout the race. When it kicks off, check with the SF Cycle Club or find us on the road.
First stop of the Mobile Cycle Club: August 19th – Stage 1 – Aspen, Start/ Finish Area
Jens Voigt may have ridden his last TdF, but he has promised to make another appearance in Colorado before he hangs up the cleats for good. “Shut up legs” has done a good job of animating the race wherever he goes, most recently at the Tour of California, neatly stealing a win from Tejay van Garderen on the way into the finish outside Avila Beach. But, who could forget last year’s edition of the USAPCC when he attacked early and held on for the win. It was also our most popular instagram photo to date.
He was in charge of the Mobile Cycle Club last year. You may have spotted him in Madison doing a lunch ride or Chicago grilling out with Tenspeed Hero. Then it was on to Philly and the Manayunk Wall. Everyone knows him and he has seen it all. Somehow he talked his way onto the RadioShack team bus last year. Most likely the flowing espresso had something to do with it. Then, he wrestled with the bulls on the island of Corsica. Then he wrangled the Mobile Cycle Club to nearly every stage of the Tour de France. This year he will be on hand to do what he does best, and if you find yourself near stages 2, 3 or 7 of this race we call the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, come and ride with us.
There will three group rides that will take place over the course of the week: On Stage two from Aspen, three from Breckenridge and seven from Denver – the rides will finish at the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club.
Ride 1: August 20th – Stage two – Aspen, Independence Pass KOM
Ride 2: August 21st – Stage three – Steamboat Springs, Rabbit Ears Pass
Ride 3: August 25th – Stage seven – Denver, Circuit
The Colorado Rockies
The biggest feature of Colorado Race is its mountains. They inspire awe in riders and spectators alike. We caught up with Ian Boswell of Team Sky for a few moments last week and he agreed that the altitude is a real factor and should not be ignored. When in Aspen you can hardly ignore it walking three flights to your hotel room, now imagine riding up that for hours at a time and you’ll see why this is a BIG race.
Not only did the guys at Skratch Labs oversee all the team meals at the Tour of California, but they had their truck parked at most of the KOM’s and TT to provide food to not only the racers, but anyone and everyone who was hungry. Colorado is their home state and they will be on course with their patented brand of nutrition — real food. Word on the street is that they have something special planned for this year’s edition. Look for them to guest appear in an upcoming Rapha Continental film as well.
Over the next few weeks as we build up to Colorado and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge follow @RaphaRacing on Instagram and Twitter to find exact details about the daily times and locations of the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club.