USA Pro Cycling Challenge offers Gran Fondo

Ride part of the Stage 1 route with Pro Challenge Experience

On Sunday Aug. 19, the Pro Challenge Experience Presented By UnitedHealthcare will give recreational cyclists the chabnce to ride part of the USA Pro Challenge Stage 1 route, beginning in Durango, Colorado.

“The Pro Challenge Experience gives fans the opportunity to ride part of the course the pros will utilize the following day,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “We want people to not only have the opportunity to witness the action of the USA Pro Challenge, but also experience it for themselves.”

There are two distance options: 45 miles and 72 miles. Both begin at 7 a.m. in downtown Durango with a loop of the USA Pro Challenge official start. Riders will then head through Wildcat Canyon and into the San Juan Mountains and San Juan National Forest.

After returning briefly to downtown Durango, the riders will climb steadily to Durango Mountain Resort via Route 250 and Shalona Hill. At this point, cyclists participating in the 45-mile route can stop and celebrate at a festival hosted by Durango Mountain Resort. Those wishing to continue will complete another 27 miles on the return to Durango via Route 550 with a final push into Fort Lewis College to cross the line at the official finish festival.

BikeRadar recently dubbed Durango one of the 10 Best Places to Ride in the US.

The cost is $65 and includes a commemorative shirt. You can register at www.prochallenge.com/register.

Participants traveling to the event can book discounted travel packages through the USA Pro Challenge and Durango Mountain Resort. The race will offer a 10 percent discount on The Grand Depart travel package, and Durango Mountain Resort is offering packages including lodging and mountain activities starting at $51 per person per night to participants. In addition to discounted rooms, participants staying at Durango Mountain Resort can reserve transportation to and from the start of the ride in downtown Durango for $15 each way by calling 970-426-7282.

The 683-mile USA Pro Challenge will take place Aug. 20-26, with an individual time trial finish in downtown Denver.

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