Organizers must have liked their experience in Pitkin County this summer, because USA Pro Cycling Challenge officials announced today that Aspen/Snowmass will host the first two stages of the Colorado road-bike race in August 2014. Though course specifics have yet to be determined, Stage One will consist of a circuit race in the upper Roaring Fork Valley on Monday, Aug. 18, and Stage Two will start in Aspen before the professional riders head toward Crested Butte on Tuesday, Aug. 19. This summer, Stage One consisted of a circuit race between Aspen and Snowmass, and Stage Two started riders in Aspen before heading toward Vail.
The Challenge has been in Colorado since 2011, and Aspen has been a host city every year. Because it’s the start of the seven-day event, riders, support teams, coaches and officials all arrive days in advance. The climb to the top of 12,095-foot Independence Pass has been a showcase stage each year, but it’s undecided if Stage 2 in 2014 will include that iconic ride.