09 August 2015

How to see Stage 3 of USA Pro Challenge 2015

WEDNESDAY, August 19, STAGE 3 - Copper Mountain to Aspen

What is the best way to see Stage 3 of the 2015 USA Pro Challenge as a fan? Combing all the great resources to help you have a great day at the race - this easy one-page guide is intended to help locals and tourists better plan for watching Stage 3 in Copper Mountain Resort and Aspen, Colorado. I am very excited to see Copper Mountain as a host city for the first time in five years of this race.

Please note that road closure times and exact finish times sometimes change closer to race day.

Find what you need to know about Stage 3 of the USA Pro Challenge in Coper Mountain and Aspen, below in the following order: Stage 3 dates, stage information, start time, finish time, sprint location, KOM location, classification Jerseys, route map, climb profiles, race organization, city tourism, town websites, local events, road closures, VIP tickets, apparel, TV coverage, Tour Tracker app, media coverage, stage preview, recommendations, where to ride, results, current standings and photos.

  • August 19th
  • Copper Mountain Resort to Aspen
  • Stage 3 Start time: 11:15 am in Center Village
  • 1.5 hour before start, near the team buses and sign-in podium, are great places for pro rider autographs and see the bikes.  
  • START LOUNGE VIP Hospitality opens 9:40 a.m.
  • All public parking will be in the Alpine and Far East Lots with the last shuttle prior to start at 10:30 a.m. 
  • Stage Schedule / Log Stage 3: Expected time along the course   
  • Aspen Stage 3 Finish Festival hours: 11:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Free concert at Copper Mountain Resort after the stage start at 12:00 pm 
  • Finish Festival Location: downtown Aspen
  • Stage 3 Finish time: approximate 2:56 - 4:47 pm (expected at 3:20 pm)
  • Podium Presentation, at the stage in the park, typically 15-minutes after leaders of the stage finish.  
  • Twitter: @USAProChallenge
  • TV: Universal Sports Network - Live at 2:00 pm; Repeat at 7:00 pm MDT
  • Tour Tracker app: tourtracker.usaprocyclingchallenge.com
  • The Race in Copper Mountain: prochallenge.coppercolorado.com
  • The Race in Aspen: aspenupcc.com
  • Camping and Parking for Stages 2, 3 and 4 in Summit County: USDA Forest Service 
  • Road closures near Copper Mountain, Leadville, Twin Lakes and Aspen for Stage 3 USA Pro Challenge with exact times and roads: CDOT
  • Turquoise Lake Rd closure 12:00-1:00 pm.
  • Independence Pass closes at 1:00 pm, reopens at 5:30 pm.
  • Look for a small group of breakaway climbers to establish an early lead over Fremont Pass, with rouleurs (riders who likes all types of terrain) to shed a few more with their increased speed toward Independence Pass. We might see the winner establish a gap by the final mile up to the summit, and down the descent into Aspen, to win Stage 3. I am looking forward to seeing who is in both the yellow and the best Colorado jersey after today's stage.
Map of 2015 USA Pro Challenge Colorado
Map of 2015 USA Pro Challenge Colorado
Copper Mountain Resort, a very nice setting for any event. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
Fans on Independence Pass. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

STAGE 3 - Copper Mountain to Aspen - high elevation!
Wednesday, August 19, STAGE 3 - road race

Race Preview - Stage 3 USA Pro Challenge 2015

This will be an exciting stage as stage 3 is a quintessential Colorado cycling stage. This path has never been exactly covered in the race's five year history. When you look closel,y you realize the peloton has a hard day in the saddle ahead of them. I expect a few riders to withdraw by or on Stage 3, a course over pure Colorado cycling.

The stage begins in the beautiful Copper Mountain Resort and quickly climbs Fremont Pass (familiar to Copper Triangle cyclists) to the old mining town of Leadville (sight of the famous Leadville 100 mountain bike race). Making a loop around Turquoise Lake (in the heart of trail runs and 10th Mountain Division Huts), the peloton clears Leadville outskirts on their way past scenic Twin Lakes.

Oh how the climb over Independence Pass will hurt, and decide this stage. Many of the pro riders know this pass very well and have raced to its heights (12,096 ft) in previous editions of the USA Pro Challenge (and will again be required to race it twice this year). All GC contenders will have to finish within the top 15 to the line on today's stage. I am so curious to see who those riders are.

Downtown Aspen, Colorado. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

Read much more about the teams selected in this Pedal Dancer® post: Which Teams will race in the USA Pro Challenge 2015?  Official startlist of riders has not yet been announced by race organizers.

Teams arrive before the stage. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
  • 101 Mile / 163 Kilometers / 7,419 ft of climbing / Max Elevation: 12,095ft 
  • Highlights: First-time host city start at Copper Mountain Village, climb of Fremont Pass, Loop around Turquoise Lake, sprint in Leadville, climb over Independence Pass, finish in Aspen.
  • Stage 3 Route Map pdf
  • Stage 3 Climb Profile pdf 
  • Zoom in Maps
  • Sprint: Leadville
  • KOM: Fremont Pass (11,320ft), Independence Pass (12,096ft)
  • Stage Schedule / Log Stage 3: Expected time along the course   
    USA Pro Challenge Stage 3 route map 2015
    USA Pro Challenge Stage 3 route map 2015 - Copper Mountain to Aspen

    Stage 3 profile map USA Pro Challenge 2015 Colorado
    Stage 3 profile map USA Pro Challenge 2015 Colorado
    • Fremont Pass: Distance (miles): 11.4, Grade (avg.): 2.7%; max 7%, Ascent (ft): 1618, Max elevation (ft):11318.
    • Independence Pass: Distance (miles): 17.1, Grade (avg.): 3.2%; max 7%, Ascent (ft): 2883, Max elevation (ft): 12095.
    Good morning peloton! this is what you will wake up to on Stage 3
    Independence Pass from the east side - it is not so steep, but it is long
    The initial long descent down Independence Pass to Aspen is fast, but then it gets VERY tight and technical before entering downtown Aspen.

    Race website: USAProCyclingChallenge.com
    Twitter: @USAProChallenge
    Facebook: USAProChallenge
    Sponsors: Founding and Official Race Partners
    Stage 3 jersey - 2015 Buy
    THE PLACE - START, August 19th
    • Location of Stage 3 Start: Copper Mountain Resort
    • The Race in Copper Mountain: prochallenge.coppercolorado.com
    • Plan your stay: Copper Mountain tourism
    • Accommodations: look in Copper Mountain, or nearby Frisco or Dillon / Silverthorne
    • Camping and Parking for Stages 2, 3 and 4 in Summit County: USDA Forest Service
    Signing autographs. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

    THE FUN - at the start the night before (August 18th) in COPPER
    • Many of the teams will be staying overnight in Copper Mountain (finish of Stage 2 is by 4:00pm)
    • 5:30-7:00 pm - Kick-Off Festival and Live Show featuring Paperbird
    • 7:00-9:30 p.m. - At COPPER MOUNTAIN, Rider's Lounge: eat and meet riders and announcers. More information.  
    THE FUN - at the START in COPPER
    • 9:00 am - Start Festival begins
    • 10:15 am - Rider sign-in begins at Burning Stones Plaza
    • 11:15 am - Stage 3 Start in Center Village
    • 11:30 am - Free concert: Industrial Rhythm 
    • 12:30 pm - Free concert: Zach Heckendorf 
    • 4:00 pm - free concert Matt Mahern 
    • Also throughout the day: free scenic chairlift rides (9-4pm), children's rides, children's activities, the Woodward Pedal-less Challenge (11:30-4pm), Primp My Ride bike decorating, a snow playground, and Tour Finish Watch Party via jumbo-tron - all at Copper Mountain Resort
    • More information at prochallenge.coppercolorado.com
    The Finish Festival area in Aspen. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
    THE PLACE - FINISH, August 19th
    • The Race in Aspen: aspenupcc.com
    • Aspen Town Chamber of Commerce
    THE FUN - at the FINISH in ASPEN
    • 11:30-5:30 pm - Pro Challenge Finish Festival in Paepcke Park
    • 11:30-5:30 pm - VIP Tent open right on the finish line. Paepcke Park.  
    • 1:00 pm - Independence Pass closes in both directions; reopens at 5:30 pm. 
    • 1:45 pm - Aspen Kids Fun ride! Finish under the USA Pro Challenge Finish Trussel  
    • 2:15 pm - Maxxis Stunt Show Main Street (in front of the VIP tent and the Festival).
      Awards Ceremony on the Festival Stage! Immediately following the race finish!
    • 2:56 - 4:47 pm - Stage 3 Finish time: approximate   
    Racing in downtown Aspen in 2014. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
    • At Copper Village - all public parking will be in the Alpine and Far East Lots with the last shuttle prior to start at 10:30 a.m.
    • Road Closures for Stage 3: CDOT (select by stage tab at the left)
    • Independence Pass closes in both directions at 1:00 pm; reopens at 5:30 pm. 
    • Street closure in Aspen: Tuesday night, Wednesday, and Thursday morning
    Mavic neutral support ready to roll out. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
    • VIP buy tickets
    • Volunteer sign-up
    • Visit the Host Cities   
    • See the route Maps & Profiles
    • Community Events Rides, Art, Movies and Concerts
    • Shop for apparel Buy Tshirts and memorabilia or find the merchandise trailer on race day
    • Citizen's 25 & 50 mile organized ride in Steamboat Go Ride
    • Read the blog Cyclesense 365
    • Read recent Press Releases
    Best places to watch stage 3:
    • Copper Mountain Resort
    • Intersection near Leadville (you can see the peloton twice)
    • Around Turquoise Lake 
    • Twin Lakes town
    • Top of Independence Pass
    • Downtown Aspen
    Let's Talk VIP
    Read more at: Should I buy a VIP ticket to the USA Pro Challenge? by Pedal Dancer® 

    Standings after Stage 2

    Who is currently wearing the jerseys at the start of Stage 3? Look for these riders:

    Yellow - Race Leader: Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
    Dark Blue - Best Colorado: Alexandr Braico (MDA) of Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis
    Green - Sprint: Taylor Phinney (USA) of BMC Racing Team
    Red - Mountain: Will Routley (CAN) of Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies
    Light Blue - Best Young: Hugh Carthy (GBR) of Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
    Orange - Most Aggressive : Nathan Brown (USA) of Team Cannondale-Garmin

    Top 15 after Stage 2

    1Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team8:16:10
    2Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:00:06
    3Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:10
    4Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:10
    5Robbie Squire (USA) Hincapie Racing Team0:00:13
    6Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:00:25
    7Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:00:27
    8Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:00:31
    9Julian Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing0:00:33
    10Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek Factory Racing0:00:38
    11Toms Skujins (Lat) Hincapie Racing Team0:00:44
    12Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop0:00:47
    13Gavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis0:00:53
    14Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Axeon Cycling Team0:00:54
    15Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:54

    TV coverage of Stage 3: Universal Sports Network

    See full schedule: TV coverage for USA Pro Challenge 2015
    Stage 3 - 08/19/2015 2:00 PM (MDT) LIVE
    Stage 3 - 08/19/2015 7:00 PM (MDT) Repeat

    Media coverage at the race

    Press Conference Daily: the post race press conferences will be shown live on prochallenge.com.

    Media Coverage of the race will be provided by: Velo News, Cycling News, Steephill.TV & VeloImages, The Denver Post, 9News Denver (KUSA), Pedal Dancer® and Pro Velo Passion.

    Photographer and journalists tweets from the race (I will add more as I verify they are at the race, and tweeting): @karenrake (Pedal Dancer), @Eibhir (Oran Kelly), @butterflywriter (Mary Topping of Pro Velo Passion), Darrell Parks (@DarrellParks), Brian Hodes (@veloimages).
    Follow the race: USA Pro Challenge: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


    Pedal Dancer® bike blog has been covering the race for five years, providing quick and easy spectator guides to each stage. Always considering the viewpoints and needs of spectators, tourists, cyclists, or straight-forward racing fans. I post stage results as well as inside stories from chasing the race. Read more education and stories about the race at Pedal Dancer® at the USA Pro Challenge

    Pedal Dancer® recommendations for Stage 3:

    Copper Mountain
    1. Tip #1: Ride your bike to Copper Mountain, although parking is plentiful and shuttle buses run from ski parking lots, this area is FANTASTIC cycling. Beautiful paths and roads in all directions. Read more at: SUMMIT COUNTY CYCLING By Pedal Dancer®
    2. Tip#2: Show up at least 1.5 hours before the stage start to see the riders near their teams buses. Some riders might be cycling to the start of today's stage, rather then driving, but all riders must sign-in at the stage. This is a good time to hear Dave and Brad briefly interview some of the riders.
    3. Tip #3: Rider sign-in begins 10:15 am at Burning Stones Plaza. Stage 3 Start is in in Center Village at 11:15 am.
    4. Tip #4: Bring something to autograph (and two sharpies!), just in case you catch a rider at a team bus or on his way to or from the sing-in stage.  
    5. Tip #5: Use your Tour Tracker app, or bring a print out of he startlist, so you can identify a rider by his dossard (bib number). Read more about dossards: Word of the Day: Dossard by Pedal Dancer®.  
    6. Tip #6: If you plan to chase the race to Aspen, think about easy exit before you park your car at the start. Within 15-minutes, all team and race vehicles will have moved out.
    7. Tip #7: Great bike riding in the area. Consider riding after the stage starts and returning for music and watching the stage finish on the big screens from 2-4pm.
    Eric Marcotte greeting the fans in 2015 after signing in at the stage. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
    1. Tip#1: you have a great opportunity to see the riders pass twice, before and after Turquoise Lake. The key will be getting on this stretch of roads prior to road closure.  
    2. Tip #2: The Feedzone will be between Leadville and Twin Lakes. Feedzone locations are never advertised (for rider safety) but will be signed by the morning.
    1. Tip #1: Ride your bike up the pass, unless your costume is so heavy that you must drive. Independence Pass closes at 1:00 pm, reopens at 5:30 pm. 
    2. Tip#3: Keep track of the race on your Tour Tracker app or watch on the Big screen TV starting at 2:00pm. 
    3. Tip #3: Aspen Podium Presentation will be in Paepcke Park, on the stage near the Finish Festival, (not the announcement stage on Main Street near the finish line).
    4. Tip #4: If you are deciding between a VIP Pass for the Finish of Stage 3 in Aspen, or the start of Stage 4 in Aspen, I would go for the start of Stage 4 (unless you are simply partying with your friends all day before the finish!). Although you won't be much in the mood for beer or wine in the morning, you will have a much better view of the riders during the start. You will get to see them roll to and from sign-in and line up for the start. For the finish of Stage 3 line up on the blocks before the tent begins to see a good view. The finish is so quick you will not see as much. Plus the awards stage (podium presentation) is a walk away from the VIP tent anyway.
    5. Tip #5: Beer! I only recommend restaurants when I have had a great experience. Last year after a stage in Aspen, I had a great experience with friends (Bicycle Colorado crew) having a beer on the outside tables on Hyman St. (pedestrian only street). Sit at the picnic tables in the middle and order beer and food from the fast running waiters. We ate at Hops Culture: 414 E Hyman Ave, Aspen. Lots of fun with Phil & Paul sitting nearby.
    Beer outside in Aspen, a great setting for a cool one.
    Pedal Dancer® posts about the race in 2015:
    1. How to see Stage 1 of USA Pro Challenge 2015 - Steamboat
    2. How to see Stage 2 of USA Pro Challenge 2015 - Steamboat / ABasin
    3. How to see Stage 3 of USA Pro Challenge 2015 - Copper / Aspen
    4. How to see Stage 4 of USA Pro Challenge 2015 - Aspen / Breck
    5. How to see Stage 5 of USA Pro Challenge 2015 - Breck ITT!
    6. How to see Stage 6 of USA Pro Challenge 2015 - Loveland / Fort Collins
    7. How to see Stage 7 of USA Pro Challenge 2015 - Golden / Denver
    The magnificence of the Maroon Bells, as seen from a bike, no filter! Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®


    Pedal Dancer® - cycling near Copper Mountain and Aspen:
    I am proud to be a selected Ride with GPS Ambassador to Summit County. See my other Ride with GPS Ambassador rides near Stage 2 finish (oh yes, you could stay here all week and ride your bike):
    Every day this race moves from town to town. Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®
    STAGES 1-7

    Stages and Host Cities for 2015 USA Pro Challenge in Colorado - MENS
    • Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 17 – Steamboat Springs Circuit Race
    • Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 18 – Steamboat Springs to Arapahoe Basin
    • Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 19 – Copper Mountain Resort to Aspen
    • Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 20 – Aspen to Breckenridge
    • Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 21 – Breckenridge Individual Time Trial
    • Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 22 – Loveland to Fort Collins
    • Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 – Golden to Denver
    Stages and Host Cities for 2015 2015 USA Pro Challenge in Colorado - WOMENS
    • Stage 1: Friday, August 21 - Breckenridge (Individual Time Trial)
    • Stage 2: Saturday, August 22 - Fort Collins 
    • Stage 3: Sunday, August 23 - Golden (finishes prior to the start of the men's race)


    (results will be posted HERE after each stage of the race)
    Stage Winner:
    Overall Race Leader:
    Best Colorado Rider:
    King of the Mountain:
    Best Young:
    Most Aggressive:

    Press Room Comments:

    It's a rush to see the teams cars peel out from the start line.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw of Pedal Dancer®

    Pedal Dancer® Guide Pages help you have a better vacation in Colorado. Follow me on Twitter as I run around inside and outside of the barriers and tweet from the race as @KarenRake see you there - Karen.