Usa pro cycling challenge 2012 route

May 7, 2009
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http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/04/news/usa-pro-challenge-organizers-leave-suspense-to-the-last-day-with-2012-route_212064


OK, here it is, the new route.

IMHO

Stage 1: Durango to Telluride. a waste to go around west to Mancos to get to Telluride. The climb up Lizard Head from the south is very gradual. The route through Silverton to Ouray would have been way better. Probaly influenced by money from Telluride to have a stage finish there. Good scenery but not an epic stage like the other route would have been (terrain wise).

Stage 2: Montrose to Crested Butte. a few good climbs east of Montrose, and maybe some descent scenery along Blue Mesa Reservoir, but meh overall. I guess it is a good way to get from point A to Point B.

Stage 3: Gunnison to Aspen. Same as last year's "queen stage". This was pretty cool to watch in person. Good scenery and high altitude.

Stage 4: Aspen to Beaver Creek. The best part happens almost right away with the climb up the harder side of Independence Pass. Too bad it is so far from the finish. After leaving Leadeville and Tennesee Pass, a long drag down to Beaver Creek. Seems to be another example of finishing at an expensive ski area at the sake of a more interesting finish (although they do have a short climb up to the finish..)

Stage 5: Breckenridge to Colorado Springs. The climb up to Hosier Pass will not be too hard. South Park fans will rejoice as the race heads through Fairplay. After that, it gets wide open, flat, and probably windy. Wilkerson Pass isn't to big, but there are some good rollers after that on the way to Woodland Park. The downhill on Ute Pass into the Springs could be a drag race or break-away ???

Stage 6: Golden to Flagstaff Mountain. This one will be good, lots of climbing with a steep finish up Flagstaff. My guess is there will be gazillions of spectators all along this route. My pick for most exciting finish up the final finishing climb. This one will be epic. Will this stage satisfy the "gradient nazis" ???

Stage 7: Denver Time Trial: OK, I guess. Fairly typical, some descent urban scenery (if you are into that thing).


Overall an improvement over last years course. Glad there are not 2 time trials this year. Biggest dissapointment is the Durango to Telluride stage (compared to what it could have been if Telluride's $$ had not drawn the finish away from more modest towns like Ouray or even Ridegway). Scenery still great.

Flame away .....
 
Jan 27, 2011
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Hope us gradientnazis can be happy with the Flagstaff Mountain, looks good if its really hard :D!
 
Colorado was good last year, but this course looks a bit better. Between that and the HC status, I hope the race will be a bit more exciting - after Utah last year I had my hopes up as that race pleasantly surprised me, but Colorado was just okay.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Havetts said:
Hope us gradientnazis can be happy with the Flagstaff Mountain, looks good if its really hard :D!
Well... to quote the linked preview:

Two tough climbs face riders in the final 20 miles. First, the moderate ascent of Lefthand Canyon leads to the 1.3-mile climb of Lee Hill Road, which tops out above 10-percent gradient, and a steep descent to Boulder. From downtown Boulder, riders will climb gradually past the University of Colorado to the base of Flagstaff Mountain. From there, the finish lies atop a 3.25-mile, 7.5-percent climb to the Sunrise Amphitheater. Two steep ramps, one low on the climb, just above Gregory Canyon, and the other a half-mile from the finish, should see the hottest fireworks from riders trying to force a selection before the final-day time trial.


These aren't long climbs. I hope it's enough to form significant gaps among the GC contenders but I don't think that will necessarily happen.

It seems like this race could have some truly epic climbs if they wanted, but like last year they've chosen not to do so. I think Leipheimer is probably the favorite here. It's his kind of race. He'd no doubt prefer two TTs like last year, but one might still be enough.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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this course looks as pathetic as last years. wow I thought trhey would have learned and put in some steeper climbers. not even colombians can save this race
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Ryo just wondering how much riding you have done at 12k Feet?
Just jumping to conclusions can make you breathless at those altitudes.. just saying.;)
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Unfortunately one of their mountain finishes, Flagstaff, tops out at less than 7,000 feet. Given it's fairly short length as well, I'm now thinking it won't cause significant selection among the GC favorites. Too bad.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Are they cutting out about 300m of climb elevation from Flagstaff? The profile shows the end at like 2080 meters, even though it goes greater than 2300.

At that rate the climb is prolly 5k or so, insignificant to cause a selection :(
 
Aug 13, 2009
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nvpacchi said:
Are they cutting out about 300m of climb elevation from Flagstaff? The profile shows the end at like 2080 meters, even though it goes greater than 2300.

At that rate the climb is prolly 5k or so, insignificant to cause a selection :(
Logistically they could not finish it at the top. I think there will be a total of 8k feet that day so there should be some separation
 
nvpacchi said:
Are they cutting out about 300m of climb elevation from Flagstaff? The profile shows the end at like 2080 meters, even though it goes greater than 2300.

At that rate the climb is prolly 5k or so, insignificant to cause a selection :(
That is a very steep and hard climb in some sections and lots of switchbacks and tight corners. I would be amazed if they can all stay together.

I think there will be plenty of separation, it is likely going to be hot and at elevation there will be some tired and spent riders by this stage.
 
May 7, 2009
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I also read about the fact that they could not go all the way up Flagstaff due to not being able to fit everything they needed at the finish up there.

Hopefully it will still be good.

Most of the steeper roads in Colorado are at relatively lower elevations. If you have ever driven a car on an icy steep road, you will understand.

One possibility I thought of (but admittedly have never ridden) of a combination of steeper grand and higher altitude would be the road up to St Mary's Glacier... but I think the locals would revolt if anyone tried to do that.

Tom Danielson made a good comparison at the Durango Fall Blaze ride about mountain roads in Europe vs ones in the US specifically used in the USAPCC (paraphrasing: in Europe, it's like they went to the top of a gully and poured asphalt down the ravine, while in the US, they engineered them for 18-wheelers).

For me, it's sort of hard to get excited about cycling anymore with all the corruption and BS, but I am trying. It always seems exciting in the moment and I am sure this race will deliver at least that.
 
Sep 28, 2011
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Sure the route could have been better but I'm happy the race even exist and hopefully they can improve the race over the next few years. Same for Cali, Utah and all other races in USA :D
 
Mar 31, 2010
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dolophonic said:
Ryo just wondering how much riding you have done at 12k Feet?
Just jumping to conclusions can make you breathless at those altitudes.. just saying.;)
what does it matter whether I have rode in altitude. I;m not racing there. but we saw last yera that altitude means nothing when there's no steepness
 
Could be better, could be worse. They seem to following the TOC's lead and going not necessarily where the great roads are, but where the best chance for exposure/money is. Considering the nature of cycling and the infancy of this race, I'm okay with it.

But at some point they're going to have to run Morgul-Bismarck, Tour of the Moon, and Mt. Evans. I mean, this is the Coors' Classic, isn't it?!
 
Jun 1, 2011
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Could be better, could be worse. They seem to following the TOC's lead and going not necessarily where the great roads are, but where the best chance for exposure/money is. Considering the nature of cycling and the infancy of this race, I'm okay with it.

But at some point they're going to have to run Morgul-Bismarck, Tour of the Moon, and Mt. Evans. I mean, this is the Coors' Classic, isn't it?!
Stage 1 is the perfect example of this. Anyone who's ever done the Iron Horse Classic knows that Durango to Silverton plus the Red Mountian Pass would be a great stage.
 
Feb 4, 2010
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nvpacchi said:
Are they cutting out about 300m of climb elevation from Flagstaff? The profile shows the end at like 2080 meters, even though it goes greater than 2300.

At that rate the climb is prolly 5k or so, insignificant to cause a selection :(

It's a hard climb. If there's no separation it's because no one attacked.
 
May 7, 2009
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Time to bump this thread, as the race starts this weekend in Durango..

some news:
http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/08/news/for-danielson-a-homecoming-in-durango-and-on-flagstaff_234554

first stage Durango to Telluride. Great scenery on new route..

Teams:
BMC looks great with Taylor Phinney, Tejay Van Garderen, & Cadel Evans
Omege Pharma- Levi again...
Garmin- the usual suspects plus Lachlan Morton (this is interesting to me since he tore up the local scene during the now defunct ACA era).
RadioSchleck - (pun intended) will this team be around next season? Crowd favorite Jens plus Horner, also Kloden and Andy Schleck but obviously no Frank.
Astana- in Colorado... hmmm, interesting- plus a Russian team.
Champion- with Craig Lewis, isn't he an FLC grad ??
EPM- one of the Columbian teams from last year
Bontrager- have heard that Team Kenda may have had more justification to earn a spot in this race over this team based on NRC standing, but ??

Hopefully the course will be an improvement over last years.
My pic for winner: Tejay (awesome in TdF).
My hope for winner: Tom D. (at last)
My pic for winner of final TT: Taylor Phinney (same as hope).
 
looks to me like the last years parcours:(- very "shallow" in terms of planning for a more selective & competitive race- it does not matter the altitude at all if the damn stages are flattish or have a downhill finish-it could matter if the stages finalize in uphill where the sea level change does affect performance..
 
May 7, 2009
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the route: agreed, but the Flagstaff stage should be good at the end.
Also, the TV coverage needs to not just be better than last year, but much better.

We will have to suffer through Phil & Paul again this year I assume. I heard Phil say last year that Breckenridge is in "Prince George County" or something like that... WTF ??? anyway.... There is no county with that name in the entire state, so this proves how out-of-it he is.

What would be great if the race's website had a comments page where people could let the directors know how they feel about the routes, particularly stage finishes. Perhaps that info would get to the sponsors and they would agree to not have the finishes in town? One can hope.

FWIW, I actually got to read one Front Range city's bid package to the race organization and could tell that whoever put this bid together had no idea what would constitute an exciting stage finish: they only wanted to draw people into town, far away from the climbs. Hopefully people will learn and things will get better in the future.
 

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