Recently, the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley hosted two premiere stages of Colorado’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge. The event features some of the world’s best bike racers who compete in events like the Tour de France and the Olympics. The event took place on August 21 and August 22, and many Crested Butte home owners turned out to watch the cyclists hustle through their home town.
The cycling event started in Durango and Telluride and finished in Denver. Locally, parts of the race wound through Gunnison and Crested Butte’s historic business districts, and afterwards, a variety of local events were put on for the riders and fans. A bike art exhibit at the Gunnison Arts Center ran through the month of August to celebrate the race.
The Gunnison side of the Queen Stage was a group ride that started at IOOF Park in downtown Gunnison, and then continued to the summit of Cottonwood Pass and back for a total of 106 miles. The Hype Party on Elk Avenue saw the street closed down between Second and Third Streets for food and drinks, live music, and more. On August 21st, the LightMyBike.com cruiser ride took place, offering cyclists of all levels the chance to follow the same loop the pro racers sprinted later that day. People competed in costumes or simply with their friends for fun.
Casey James Prestwood and the Burning Angels headlined the USA Pro Challenge Finish Festival before, during and after Stage 2 at the finish line in Crested Butte. New Belgium brewery was on hand to provide beverages, and two jumbo trons let visitors catch all of the cycling action. The event was an overwhelming success and Crested Butte home owners can’t wait for it to roll back into town next year.
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