Steamboat Springs to host stage finish and stage start in 2013 USA Pro Challenge | SteamboatToday.com

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Steamboat Springs to host stage finish and stage start in 2013 USA Pro Challenge

Thousands of spectators cheer as Elia Viviani of Team Liquigas-Cannondale races toward the finish line of Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Steamboat Springs on Aug. 26, 2011.

— The pre-eminent pro cycling race in the U.S. will return to Steamboat next summer after skipping Northwest Colorado in 2012.

USA Pro Challenge officials unveiled the 2013 host cities Wednesday morning in Aspen. Steamboat will host the Stage 3 finish Aug. 21 and the Stage 4 start Aug. 22. Stage 3 begins in Breckenridge, and Stage 4 ends in Beaver Creek.

“This is great news for Steamboat and a big thank you needs to go out to both Jim Schneider from Ski Corp and Kara Givnish along with the rest of the bid committee for all their hard work,” Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association CEO Tom Kern wrote in an email Wednesday.

The 2013 host cities and stages are:

  • Aug. 19 — Stage 1: Aspen/Snowmass Circuit
  • Aug. 20 — Stage 2: Aspen/Snowmass to Breckenridge
  • Aug. 21 — Stage 3: Breckenridge to Steamboat Springs
  • Aug. 22 — Stage 4: Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek
  • Aug. 23 — Stage 5: Vail Time Trial
  • Aug. 24 — Stage 6: Loveland to Fort Collins
  • Aug. 25 — Stage 7: Denver Circuit

"We're thrilled to be a part of the best race in America for a second time," said Jim Schneider, co-chairman of the Steamboat Springs Local Organizing Committee. "The entire community of Steamboat Springs put on a fantastic event during the inaugural race, and we are looking forward to again hosting the best cyclists in the world on this incredible international stage."

Steamboat unsuccessfully bid to host a stage of the race in 2012 after being the only city awarded a stage finish and a stage start in the inaugural 2011 race. The Local Organizing Committee said this summer it would again put in a bid to host a stage of the race.

Steamboat officials previously estimated the cost of hosting the 2011 race at about $200,000, including cash contributions from the city and local businesses and in-kind contributions such as hotel rooms, food and city employee man-hours. The hope is that the investment pays off not only in visitors to Steamboat for the race days, but also in the national and international marketing exposure Steamboat Springs receives as a result of USA Pro Challenge TV coverage.

Race officials say they expect more than 1 million people to watch the race in person in 2013.

“Riders now know that there is no race in America like the USA Pro Challenge, and these host cities help ensure cycling's world stage returns to Colorado for seven days of grueling competition," Shawn Hunter, CEO and co-chairman of the USA Pro Challenge said in a news release. "Each of these communities will be on an international stage as we partner with them to ensure the USA Pro Challenge takes its place as America's greatest race.”

Next summer’s race will be the first time the event has included stops in the Front Range cities of Loveland and Fort Collins. Race officials say more details about the stages, including detailed routes and start and finish locations, will be announced in the spring.

Read previous Pro Cycling Challenge coverage from the Steamboat Today.