Stories, Travel Ideas and Visitor Information for Your Next Trip to Buena Vista, Colorado

World Class Cycling comes to Buena Vista

World-class professional bicycle racing returns to Colorado with the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge August 20th – 26th. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is a multi-day “Gran Tour” stage race like the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and the Vuelta a Espana – except there are no rest days, the average elevation is much higher and the average daily mileage is greater. Riders cycle a different route each day, passing through over a dozen Colorado counties and covering nearly 600 miles over seven days arriving in Denver on Sunday August 26th.

Because it is being held in Colorado and primarily in the mountains, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is billed as “man against mountain.” While the other races include routes over mountain passes and even include finishes on summits of high mountain peaks, the elevations stay below 7,000 feet. The USA Pro CyclingChallenge will reach elevations over 12,000 feet giving it the highest mean elevation of any bike race.

The first stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge sees the racers ride between
Durango and Telluride on Sunday the 20th; Stage 2 runs from Montrose to
Crested Butte in the 21st; Stage 3 – the “Queen Stage” and the highlight of the
race – is on Wednesday the 22nd and goes from Gunnison to Aspen via Buena
Vista; Stage 4 is from Aspen, back over Independence Pass to Beaver Creek on
the 23rd; Stage 5 takes the riders from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs; Stage
6 is between Golden and Boulder; and the final stage, Stage 7 is on Sunday 27
August in Denver.

USA Pro Cycling Racers make the turn in Buena Vista, Colorado

Stage 3 brings the cyclists over Cottonwood Pass, down Chaffee County
306/Cottonwood Pass Road to Highway 24. The “breakaway,” the “peloton,”
and “caravane” turn north and proceed to Aspen via Independence Pass. This
route offers prime race viewing for residents and visitors and the turn at Main
Street should prove exciting. There will be a sprint line in Buena Vista again this
year and the “false flat” of Highway 24 may even spawn some “attacks” after
riders make turn north.

Bicycle racing offers one of the biggest and most colorful spectacles in
international sports with the riders’ uniforms (“kits”), the bikes, the publicity
caravan, and the excitement of the fans. Buena Vista is fortunate that the Queen
Stage passes through our town. Think about creative ways to “Welcome the
World” to Buena Vista. Please use the days and weeks ahead to learn more
about this exciting sport and come out and cheer the riders on!

This post comes to you courtesy of The Trailhead and Trailhead Cycle and Ski. Visit them online at or in person about 1 mile north of the stoplight in Buena Vista, Colorado on Highway 24.