(riders depart start in 1 minute intervals) USA Prologue rider starting times
Distance: 5.18 miles
Official route of the Prologue
|Official Route Map Prologue 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge|
The Prologue is day 1 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, it is not Stage 1. The race will begin with a Prologue in Colorado Springs, and follow with six stages totally 7 straight days of racing, with no rest days. What is a Prologue? Read Word of the Day: Prologue
- Monday, August 22nd: Prologue — Colorado Springs
- Tuesday, August 23rd: Stage 1 — Salida to Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte
- Wednesday, August 24th: Stage 2 — Gunnison to Aspen
- Thursday, August 25th: Stage 3 — Vail (Individual Time Trial)
- Friday, August 26th: Stage 4 — Avon to Steamboat Springs
- Saturday, August 27th: Stage 5 — Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge
- Sunday, August 28th: Stage 6 — Golden to Denver
The Prologue will include the Garden of the Gods. The Route will be 5.2 miles long. Update: 06/06/11: The official route of the Prologue
|map by OutThereColorado.com|
The Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs. Both the Park and Visitor & Nature Center are free and open to the public.
What you will see at the Prologue:
- Limited access to press meetings, team dinners, sponsor dinners, team presentation
- Rider sign-in 1.5 hrs up to 10 minutes prior to the race start. The riders will walk up onto stage to give their signature as an official sign-in. The rider is often presented to the fans by the race announcer.
- Riders or more often their soigneurs or mechanics will ride the bike for weigh-in prior to the rider's race time.
- Riders will be warming up on their bikes on spinners in the morning or afternoon. Riders do not ride around the area, but will venture out (near their team buses) to say hello to family and friends.
- There will be a vender area displaying industry merchandise.
- Expect some sections with heavy traffic on the route to be barricaded, with a few points for crossing.
- Also expect the VIP area to be fenced off, and likely take up the prime viewing area (they do need to make money remember). The VIP area can be really annoying and block the path of non-paying fans. Accept it as simply part of the day.
- Riders will then approach the start gate and race the time trial individually in set time periods.
- Start times should be published, so you will know which riders are starting at what time.
- You will see a steady flow of riders take the start and ride the race course.
- You can watch them roll down the start ramp, watch them maneuver a corner mid-course, or see them race across the finish line. (There will be a clock at the finish line)
- There may be large screen TVs near the finish area to watch the riders on route or approaching. If you are near the finish area you will be able to hear the race announcers.
- After a rider races, they will not be out in public view, they will rest inside eating and drinking and receiving a quick massage to prepare for the next days race.
- After all riders have finished there will be a formal awards presentation by two lovely Podium Girls, where the Leaders Jersey will be given to the rider in 1st place.
|Levi Leipheimer approaches the sign-in stage at the 2010 Amgen Tour of California with Dave Towle in the background introducing the eventual overall winner Michael Rogers. Photo by PedalDancer.com|
|The start area will look similar to this one at the 2010 Tour of California. Photo by PedalDancer.com|
Riders will warm up (starting at 11:30am) and start from Garden of the Gods. The finish, expo and awards podium are in downtown. Bring your bike to get around, the course is only 5.2 miles long, moving a car and reparking will be difficult. Once the race begins there will be NO crossing the course at all. Use back roads to bike from the start to the finish. Riders go off every 60 seconds starting at 1:15, the last 10 riders are 2 minutes apart. The last 17 riders will be the team leaders of each of the 17 teams. The last rider should finish at 3:55pm.
Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs (5.2 mi.)
1:15 PM Start / 3:55 PM Expected Finish (of last rider)
Bring a copy of the Prologue start list schedule with you, it should be (I hope!) online at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge website (or possibly in the local paper). Also bring a cheat sheet of team jerseys or roster bib #s (unless you know them by heart). No matter where you are on the course for the Prologue, you will be able to tell who will be coming next if you know the rider's jersey and the time. The riders pass by so quickly it is difficult to tell who is who in a flash of a moment, unless you have seen the riders for years. This is the day to enjoy the atmosphere of being at the race.
Option A) commuting into the area by bike is always a good idea to relieve and avoid vehicle traffic, however, bring a good bike lock to lock up your bike. It is not very easy to move as a fan while rolling your bike along with you, but because the route is so short it could add better movement and flexibility between the start and finish areas.
* Amateur Time Trial Date: August 22nd, 2011 Location: Colorado Springs. Prior to the Pros riding the same course. I am trying to find more information bout this event for amateur cyclists.
Colorado Springs is a 1 hour 20 minute drive south of downtown Denver, Colorado. Stage 1 begins the next day in Salida, CO, a 2 hour drive west. For locals, it will be easy to drive to the Prologue for the day from nearby cities, but it is a Monday - so commuter traffic can be tremendous in downtown Denver, the Denver Tech Center south of Denver, and again in Colorado Springs between 7:00-9:00am and 3:30-6:30pm.
Please read Start and Finish times and maps
|The drive from Denver to Colorado Springs|
|The drive from Colorado Springs to Salida|
Colorado Springs has a historic downtown area, with rolling terrain east of town and also near the foothills. The beautiful campus of the US Air Force Academy is just north of downtown. The home complex of the United States Olympic Committee (with a nice outdoor velodrome) is located near downtown. Colorado Springs sits at the base of 14,115ft Pikes Peak. The city has a population of 405,000, at 6,035ft elevation.
|Garden of the Gods|
Accommodations may be found anywhere between Denver and Colorado Springs, however driving in for the day will be easy but congested. Hiking and golfing are very popular during the summer. Driving to the top of Pikes Peak is possible. There is caving, the Olympic Center, a rodeo museum, and a small local zoo. Must sees in the area: Garden of the Gods (park)! The Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs. Both the Park and Visitor & Nature Center are free and open to the public.
Cycling Routes in the area:
The Air Force Academy will be closed for security reasons. Black Forest is a nice area to ride a bike, although water is more scarce out in the rural ranch lands.
Warm and windy, around 70+ degrees.