For those of you coming to the Colorado mountains to catch the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, be sure to catch the Aspen/Snowmass Women’s Pro Stage Race going on August 22 to 24. Jessica Phillips (2002 U.S. road champion and 2009 U.S. time trial champion) was instrumental in bringing the race to Aspen.
Though the women’s race doesn’t follow the same course as the men’s race, both races carry title sponsorship from UnitedHealthcare. Kudos to UnitedHealthcare for their support of cycling and, in particular, women’s racing. Additionally, it’s great to see USA Pro Cycling Challenge promoting the event as well.
The stages are:
Stage 1 – Maroon Bells Time Trial
August 22 5:00 p.m.
The eight-mile, uphill time trial opens racing Monday evening southwest of Aspen. The route follows the Maroon Creek Road and gradually rises 1,500 vertical feet. The course is not technical, but the climb and thin air will conspire to put big splits into the field before the race’s first night is out.
Stage 2 – Snowmass Circuit Race
August 23 10:00 a.m.
The 3.5-mile circuit climbs the five-percent Brush Creek Road climb every one of 12 laps. The 1.4-mile climb gives way to a stair-step descent to the start/finish with barely a respite for riders.
Stage 3 – Aspen Crit
August 24 1:00 p.m.
Eleven corners in criterium! There will be no formulaic racing in the downtown Aspen finale. With 49 feet of elevation gain every lap and an uphill finish, the Aspen Crit will be the most challenge criterium on the women’s national circuit. Throw in the altitude and the final stage will be a true test, if for just an hour.
The ever-young Jeannie Longo will be racing alongside U.S. Olympian Kristen Armstrong Savola. You can find complete starting rosters on VeloNews.