USA Pro Cycling Challenge spectator information

By Real Aspen
August 12, 2011

This is a press release issued today by the USA Pro Cycling Challenge's media team:

At 135 miles in length, and two monster climbs over 12,000 feet in elevation, Stage 2 is the day race fans in Colorado have been waiting for. With limited roads between the start and finish, you need to decide your plan of attack. For example, you can see the start in Gunnison and catch the finish in Aspen or make it to the King of the Mountain (KOM) at Independence pass, but you can’t get to both KOMs. With rider sign-ins, access to team parking, and smaller crowds, race starts are the favorite spot for many spectators. KOMs are an obvious favorite. Stage finishes have the excitement of big crowds, Expo, the mad sprints to the finish, and you can watch the race on the big screens as the riders are about two hours out. Aspen will also be featuring a women’s pro bike race before the finish of Stage 2.

Basic Information

· Race begins at 10 a.m. in Gunnison

· Teams will arrive at 8:30am and rider sign-in begins at 9 a.m.

· There are six key places to watch Stage 2

o Gunnison – race start

o Almont (sprint) and Buena Vista (Sprint)

o Cottonwood Pass (KOM) and Independence Pass (KOM)

o Aspen – race finish

· Here is what you can do:

o Watch the start in Gunnison and reach Buena Vista, Independence pass, or Aspen via Monarch Pass

o Ride your bike up Cottonwood or Independence Pass.

· Here is what you can’t do (based on time or lack of alternate routes or both):

o Drive to Cottonwood Pass on race day. Cottonwood Pass will close to vehicles at 3 p.m. on August 23rd. Gunnison County will be preparing the dirt section of the pass for the race after this time. Parking will not be allowed on the dirt sections to allow crews to work

o Easily drive to Independence Pass – it will be closed to vehicles starting at 11 a.m. in both directions

o Watch the start in Gunnison and make it to the Cottonwood KOM via Buena Vista

o Watch the race from either Cottonwood or Independence Pass and make it to Aspen

o Watch the Sprints in Almont or Buena Vista and make it to the finish or Independence Pass KOM

o Get to Aspen via Pearl Pass in Crested Butte. Pearl Pass is a very rugged dirt road and portions are flooded and not drivable.

· Parking at either of the KOMs is going to be very difficult. Please allow ample time to find parking

· Race recommendation: Watch the start in Gunnison or finish in Aspen or ride your bike to one of the KOMs

· Be a good spectator and don’t leave any trash for others to clean up along the race route

· Please, DO NOT PAINT on the roads (even chalk paint). If you want to place a slogan on the route, please use chalk

The Colorado State Patrol, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Transportation and the US Forest Service, is committed to making the USA Pro Cycling Challenge a world class event for the race participants, citizens of Colorado, and spectators. Therefore, in keeping with the bicycle racing tradition of spectator access, here are the guidelines for camping and roadside parking along Colorado State Highways:

Parking and camping will be allowed along Colorado highway right of ways as long as it meets the following conditions:

· Roadside parking/camping can be in place no more than 24 hours in advance of the time the race is expected to pass that location.

· All vehicles, including trailers, must be parked off the traveled portion of the highway, this includes all shoulders, gore points, divided highway areas and access to private property.

· All vehicles, including trailers, may not pose a safety risk to the motoring public regardless of parking or camping area.

· All spectators will ensure their areas are clean of debris and trash after they leave.

If the area becomes overwhelmed with vehicles, including trailers, or the number of vehicles in an area is deemed excessive, CDOT and CSP may clear the area and require vehicles to move to another location.

Regarding road closures, this is a “Full road closure event”. Traffic can follow the race, but cannot pass. Traffic will be allowed to cross the race route, up until about 10 minutes before the race reaches the intersection. Traffic will be able to make a turn and follow the same direction of the race, up until 15 minutes before the race reaches the intersection. Traffic coming into the race will be handled by CSP in a variety of ways. On lightly travel roads, CSP will pull cars over to the side of the road as the race is approaching. On mountain passes, the roads will be closed up to two hours before the race reaches the base of the climb and/or the summit and begins the descent.

Plan ahead and allow ample time to make it to your destination and to find legal parking.

Bicycles will be allowed on the race route at all times, but you will be asked to dismount, as the race approaches.

The US Forest Service asks that all vehicles remain on designated roads and trails and that all parking and camping be done in existing sites only. Respect the environment and pack out what you pack in.

For information on road closures go to

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