07 August 2011

Camping and road closures for USA Pro Challenge

News today about fan access to roads on the Tour
The active hard working people at Bicycle Colorado have provided good news about camping for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado. They bring the fans good news that roadside "European Tour Camping" will be allowed for this event. Please read more on the Bicycle Colorado website at: Camping for USA Pro Cycling Challenge Fans on race route, European-style Race Spectating comes to Colorado. 

Road Closures 
My intent is to help you enjoy the race while understanding that the most important goal of the organizers of the race is to keep the riders and citizens safe. This information on road closures should provide you with a framework of what is possible for you, your bike and your family. Your goal is to allow enough time to be safe to others, not be disappointed, and arrive relaxed and ready to have FUN!  Being out on the road as a fan is a fabulous experience. Being in the mountains of Colorado is even better! 

Complete road closures 
Both the route of the Prologue and the route of the Individual Time Trial on Stage 3 in Vail will be closed during the entire length of the race (Prologue: 1:15 PM Start, 3:45 PM Finish, ITT: 1:00 PM Start, 3:45 PM Finish), to allow for the constant stream of pro riders racing in 1 minute intervals. Road Marshals will be in place along the route. 
Rolling full road closures 
The other stages will have rolling full road closures. These will be expertly coordinated by the Colorado Highway Patrol, local city police and event staff. There will be 10 CHP cars and 10 motorcycle policemen traveling with the race for the entire distance of the Tour. Road closures should only close the road for 20 minutes as the caravan/convoy moves along the race route. Any on-coming traffic headed toward the race will be pulled over by motorcycle police and moved off the road. 
Full closure will affect all lanes of traffic. Traffic will be cleared from the road, in both directions as the rolling closure progresses. All side traffic attempting to enter the road will be stopped until the race (and all support vehicles) pass through. Imagine a Presidential security convoy moving through a city - this is how the race will appear for 80 to 130 mile along the roads.  
Mountain Pass Closures:  
Recently Eric Smith of Medalist Sports explained to race volunteers, that mountain passes are generally closed for the duration of time it takes one car to travel the entire distance over the pass, that time is then doubled for safety. The exception is Cottonwood Pass which will close at 3:00pm the day before the race to allow for advanced road work to be completed on the gravel road to reduce the washboard (bumpy road). Cottonwood Pass will be closed from August 23 at 3 p.m. until August 24 at approximately 1 p.m. The good news is that road side camping will allow fans wanting to get to the mountain pass to stay overnight. 
Chasing the Tour
If you are moving your vehicle, it is probably best to do so in the early morning before the race or in the evening after the race. Cyclists who are riding during the day, during the time of the race, should plan on being self supported on the road just in case their vehicle cannot reach them. 

Sag Support Cars: 
Sag support vehicles for cyclists climbing Cottonwood Pass on August 24, from Gunnison to Buena Vista, can return to the east side of the Collegiate Peaks range via Monarch Pass to meet their cyclists in Buena Vista. Sag support cars trying to reach their cyclists in Aspen overnight via Independence Pass will have to wait until the pass opens up after 2:00 pm east side, 4:00pm west side. Watch for oncoming cyclists descending the pass eastbound down to Twin Lakes. For more information for cyclists please read an earlier post Can fans ride a stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge?
Most of the host cities plan to have huge screen TVs for fans to view the race, they also have music and events and plenty of restaurants. More information for spectators should be up on the official USA Pro Cycling Challenge website this week. For now, read about the town activities in an earlier post here: What's happening around town?

CDOT Impact Report 
For an excellent summary of which roads in Colorado will be impacted by the race, please read: Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Releases Highway Impact Information for USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

The race will impact numerous highways, in order to prepare motorists, CDOT has posted details on its traveler information website (www.cotrip.org). For real-time information related to highway impacts, motorists are encouraged to sign up for CDOT’s email and text alerts, available at www.coloradodot.info by clicking on the green cell phone icon, and are encouraged to follow CDOT on Twitter (@coloradodot). Daily road closure information during the event will be available by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. 

*The exact road and times of road closure for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Prologue and Stage 1-6 can be found at this link: http://cotrip.org/content/usapcc/
According to CDOT:
Cottonwood Pass closed: August 23 at 3:00 pm until August 24 at 1:00 pm.
Independence Pass eastbound closed: August 24 11:00-4:00pm.
Independence Pass westbound closed: August 24 11:00-2:00pm.

According the the USA Pro Challenge Fan Advisory: Independence Pass will close at noon on both sides. So I am not exactly sure on timing, leave lots of time to be safe and not disappointed.  

  • August 22/Day 1/Prologue in Colorado Springs: Highways impacted include I-25, US 24, and Business US 24. Impacts will begin at noon and end by approximately 4:30 p.m.
  • August 23/Day 2/Stage 1 from Salida to Mount Crested Butte: Highways impacted include State Highway 114, State Highway 135, US 50, US 285, and Cottonwood Pass. Cottonwood Pass will be closed from August 23 at 3 p.m. until August 24 at approximately 1 p.m. Other impacts will begin at 9:45 a.m. and end by approximately 4:30 p.m.
  • August 24/Day 3/Stage 2 from Gunnison to Aspen: Highways impacted include State Highway 82, US 24, Cottonwood Pass, and Independence Pass. Cottonwood Pass will be closed from August 23 at 3 p.m. until August 24 at approximately 1 p.m. Other impacts will start at 11 a.m. and will last until approximately 4 p.m.
  • August 25/Day 4/Stage 3 Vail Time Trial: I-70 will be impacted from 11:30 a.m. until approximately 4 p.m.
  • August 26/Day 5/Stage 4 from Avon to Steamboat Springs: Highways impacted include I-70, State Highway 131, and US 6. Impacts will start at noon and end by approximately 4 p.m.
  • August 27/Day 6/Stage 5 from Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge: Highways impacted include I-70, State Highway 9, State Highway 134, US 6, US 40, and Rabbit Ears Pass. Impacts start as early as 9 a.m. and will end by approximately 4 p.m.
  • August 28/Day 7/Stage 6 from Golden to Denver: Highways impacted include I-25, I-70, I-70 Business (Colfax Ave.), State Highway 58, State Highway 93, State Highway 95 (Sheridan Blvd.), State Highway 121 (Wadsworth Blvd.), State Highway 391 (Kipling St.), and US 6. Impacts begin as early as 5 a.m. and will end by approximately 3 p.m.