Pro Cycling Challenge Countdown

The most demanding race in America returns to Colorado. We'll be watching.

We know there’s plenty of winter out there somewhere…but here at our Boulder, Colorado, offices, it feels a lot like summer. Which means two things: patio beers and our second annual countdown to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which returns to Colorado in August.

Last year’s inaugural event was deemed the most demanding bike race ever held on American soil—and this year’s will be even tougher. Here’s a quick preview:

The route for the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge professional cycling stage race will take riders on a heart-pounding journey through the breathtaking Colorado Rockies. After making history in the inaugural year by traveling to the highest elevation of any race in North America or Europe—higher than the most challenging route on the Tour de France—this year’s race will take the riders to an altitude of 12,000 ft. not one but three times, and will include a finish on iconic Flagstaff Mountain on the penultimate day.

The race will visit 12 official host cities, with sizes ranging from 250 residents to more than 600,000. The four new cities joining the 2012 race—Durango, Telluride, Montrose and Boulder—each offer an awesome backdrop as well as a unique cycling history, which will add to the overall excitement of the race. With nine mountain passes, 42,000 feet of combined elevation gain over seven days, and 683 miles of total racing, the 2012 USA Pro Challenge race route will again demonstrate that the mountain changes everything.