Archive for August, 2011
Check out the feature from this morning from Gregg Moss and KUSA 9News:
At 100 miles in length, Stage 1 provides several good places to catch the action, but plan carefully. With limited roads between the start and finish, you need to decide your plan of attack. For example, you can see the start in Salida and catch the finish at Mt Crested Butte, but you can’t get to the KOM on Monarch Pass. 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.
• Race begins at 11:45 in Salida
• Teams will arrive at 10:00am and rider sign-in begins at 10:45am
• Riders will reach the KOM on Monarch Pass around 12:45pm
There are five key places to watch Stage 1
• Salida – race start
• Monarch Pass (KOM) – There is parking at the Monarch Mtn Ski area
• Gunnison (Sprint)
• Crested Butte (Sprint)
• Mt Crested Butte – race finish
Here is what you can do:
• Watch the start in Salida and reach Crested Butte or Mt Crested Butte via Cottonwood Pass for the sprint or finish
• Leave Salida at least 30 minutes before the start and get to the KOM at Monarch Pass (be advised that parking will be very limited near the KOM and you may be forced to park and walk a mile or more to the KOM)
• Leave Salida at least 30 minutes before the start and push onto Gunnison for the Sprint
Here is what you can’t do (based on time or lack of alternate routes or both):
• Watch the start in Salida and make it to the KOM or Gunnison
• Watch the KOM and make it to Gunnison or the finish
• Watch the Sprint in Gunnison and make it to the finish
Race recommendation: Watch the start in Salida and drive to Mt Crested Butte for the finish
• 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 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.
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.
Chaffee County, Colorado will be host to the first mountain stage start of the Inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge. 128 riders from 20 countries will battle for the title, riding more than 600 miles at altitude, this will be the most demanding bike race ever held on American soil. High speeds, high altitude and high drama are sure to grace the Colorado Rocky Mountains during the six day race. The top three riders from the Tour de France will compete with the rest of the world’s best riders for the coveted title.
Salida will host the first stage start, August 23, 2011 and Buena Vista will see the riders pass through on their way down Cottonwood Pass enroute to Aspen on August 24, 2011.
Where to Watch
Downtown Salida for the Stage Start, with a couple parade laps in downtown, this will be first stage start of this inaugural event and the party will be a great one!!! With the historic downtown as a backdrop, the spectacle will be one that will be talked about for years to come.
Monarch Mountain will open the area parking lot for overnight camping for self sustained campers and RV’s.
Old Monarch Pass Road is just over a mile from the top of the pass and you will be able to see the racers as they battle their way up to the top of the almost 12,000 foot pass for the very first KOM (King of the Mountain) title. The road curves before they turn to the top so you can see the racers on the road for quite a while. If you want to dress up and run along with the racers, this is the spot to start from.
Top of Monarch Pass is where the first KOM of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be crowned, with a large parking area, this location will fill up fast, but the party should be one of the best. Watch the racers crest the top of the pass and head down into the Gunnison valley.
Note: You will not be able to watch the Stage Start in Salida and make it up Monarch Pass before the road closes.
Top of Cottonwood Pass will be the first KOM spot of two (Independence being the other one) during day two. This 12,000 foot pass will separate the men from the boys! The climb from the Gunnison side is dirt for the last ten miles to the top of the pass and the pavement starts as they head down the winding curves of Cottonwood Pass into Buena Vista.
McPhelmy Park in downtown Buena Vista is at the corner of Main Street and Highway 24. You will be able to see the racers coming down from Cottonwood pass and then turn and start the long grind north towards Twin Lakes and up Independence Pass. Buena Vista has promised a party on every corner!
Anywhere and everywhere on Cottonwood Pass and Highway 24 in Buena Vista, but just make sure you are in designated areas. Here are a few things to remember about parking and camping along the route:
1) 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. Propane grills and gas stoves are strongly encouraged. Building of campfires is strongly discouraged. Let’s keep our forest safe!
2) All vehicles, including trailers, must be parked entirely off the traveled portion of the highway, including all shoulders, gore points, divided highway areas, and access to private property.
3) All vehicles, including trailers, may not pose a safety risk to the motoring public regardless of parking or camping area.
4) Please make sure you are a good spectator (and citizen) and ensure the areas are clean of debris and trash promptly after the race passes.
5) Parking on the dirt section of Cottonwood Pass will not be allowed so crews can prepare the road for the race. The county road and bridge crew are working extremely hard to make this a great event, so let’s make sure to stay out of their way!
6) Please be respectful to private property and “no trespassing” signs.
Road Closures in Chaffee County
August 23, 2011, Hwy 50 will close at Lionelle Road (where Weldon Creek meets Highway 50) as the Route Car reaches that point. Once the “end of convoy” vehicle passes the CSP Trooper at Hwy 50 and Lionelle, Hwy 50 will re-open. Those vehicles MUST stay behind the event.
Highway 50 east bound from Gunnison will close at Highway 114 at 9:45am.
Also on August 23, 2011, Cottonwood Pass will close at 3:00pm to all vehicles so that Gunnison road crews can prepare the dirt section of the road for Stage 2 the following day. The pass will remain closed until the “end of convoy” from the race comes through on August 24, 2011.
Shuttle service for Monarch and Cottonwood Pass
August 23, 2011, High Valley Center in Poncha Springs will run shuttles to the top of Monarch Pass beginning at 7am and running every hour until the “last run” at approximately 10 am. They will return shuttle riders after the race has crested Monarch Pass. The cost of the shuttle will be $12 with $2 being donated back to the Chaffee Sports Commission, the funding organization of the Salida Stage Start.
August 24, 2011, High Valley Center will be doing shuttle service to the top of Cottonwood Pass (on the Chaffee County side) out of Buena Vista will pick up passengers at River Park on the south end of Main Street beginning at 6:30am and ending with the “last run” at approximately 9:00 am. The cost of the shuttle will be $12 with $2 being donated back to the Chaffee Sports Commission, the funding organization of the Salida Stage Start.
For information call the High Valley Center at 719-539-6089 .
Please have a wonderful time watching these world class cyclists in Chaffee County, cheer on your favorites, but remember to be respectful to other spectators, riders and law enforcement.
Check out our Merch page for your official Salida Stage Start gear!