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.