Fort Collins, Loveland new cycling race venues
Two new Colorado cities this summer will play host to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, but Grand Junction won’t be one of them.
Fort Collins and Loveland are the new venues to the statewide professional cycling race that runs from Aug. 19 to 25.
Having Grand Junction passed up for a second time to be a host city is disheartening, said Scott Mercier, a member of the local organizing committee who worked on Grand Junction’s proposal.
“It’s very disappointing,” he said. “A lot of people put a lot of work into it. You look at the last three years and it’s been at ski resorts and the Front Range.”
The city of Aspen again was tapped as a host city and will serve as the overall race start. On Day 2, Aug. 20, cyclists will race from Aspen to Breckenridge.
Other host cities include Steamboat Springs, Beaver Creek and Vail, with a finish in downtown Denver.
Mercier said the upside of not getting a stage race for the Pro Challenge is that local organizers can focus on other events such as a professional mountain biking race slated for the area this summer.
“That is the silver lining to me, that we will have more resources and time to focus on that,” he said. “I almost think those are better events because they bring people who will stay here and do things.”
Mercier said it’s too early to know whether members of the local organizing committee will again submit a proposal for the Pro Challenge.
“I don’t think anyone is over-enthused to do it again, but it’s a little bit raw,” he said. “Here we are again left at the altar.”