The 2014 version of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is beginning to really take shape.
The event, which runs August 18-24 with stages in Colorado Springs and Woodland Park, will feature 16 of the world's top professional cycling teams.
Led by UCI ProTeams BMC Racing Team, Cannondale Pro Cycling, Team Garmin-Sharp, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek Factory Racing, the race will include some of the top talent in the sport.
It will take riders on a heart-pounding journey through the Colorado Rockies. The seven-day stage race will travel 550 miles from Aspen to Denver, making stops in cities known for their cycling culture and history such as Vail and Boulder.
Colorado Springs is the site of Stage 4 on Aug. 21. Woodland Park is the starting point of Stage 5 on Aug. 22.
“We consistently get such an overwhelmingly positive response from the teams that participate in the Pro Challenge each year,” said Rick Schaden, owner of the USA Pro Challenge. “The race continues to build momentum year after year and we'll look to build on that in 2014 by welcoming back some veteran teams and introducing some new ones to the challenging terrain and beautiful scenery of Colorado.”
Featuring teams hailing from six countries, the USA Pro Challenge will test riders by taking them to unprecedented elevations. Many of the riders are competing in the Tour de France.
“We've had huge success in the Pro Challenge the past three years and we're looking forward to returning for a fourth,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Sharp. "As a Colorado-based team, this is a race we look forward to all year and the riders always bring their A-game.
“Last year Lachlan Morton won the Best Young Rider competition and Tom Danielson got third overall, so we have high goals for the race and we will give fans plenty of reasons to cheer."
Here is the complete list of teams that will be competing in the 2014 USA Pro Challenge:
BMC Racing Team (USA) @BMCProTeam
Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA) @cannondalePro
Team Garmin-Sharp (USA) @Ride_Argyle
Tinkoff-Saxo (RUS) @tinkoff_saxo
Trek Factory Racing (USA) @TrekFactory
UCI Professional Continental Teams
Drapac Professional Cycling (AUS) @DrapacCycling
Team NetApp - Endura (GER) @NetAppEndura
Team Novo Nordisk (USA) @TeamNovoNordisk
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA) @UHCprocycling
UCI Continental Teams
Bissell Development Team (USA) @BissellDT
Hincapie Sportswear Development Team (USA) @HincapieDevo
Jamis-Hagens Berman p/b Sutter Home (USA) @TeamJamisHB
Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis (USA) @JellyBellyTeam
Optum Presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA) @OPTUMpbKBS
Rapha Condor JLT (GBR) @raphacondorjlt
Team SmartStop (USA) @TeamSmartStop
Full team rosters will be announced closer to the race.
“The USA Pro Challenge has featured some of the best teams in the world over the last three years and 2014 will be no different,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “We're giving cycling fans in the United States the chance to see the teams they love up close and in person. Interest in the race continues to grow and this year's diverse roster of teams is going to create seven intensely competitive days of racing in August.”
The Pro Challenge is welcoming seven new teams for their first appearance in the race, including Trek Factory Racing, Drapac Professional Cycling, Team NetApp - Endura, Bissell Development Team, Hincapie Sportswear Development Team, Rapha Condor JLT and Team SmartStop. Additionally five veteran teams will be returning for a fourth time in 2014, having participated in every edition of the Pro Challenge - BMC Racing Team, Team Garmin-Sharp, Cannondale Pro Cycling (formerly Liquigas-Cannondale), Team Novo Nordisk (formerly Team Type 1) and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
Woodland Park organizers expect the size of the city to double on race day to about 15,000 people.
Referred to as “America's Race,” the USA Pro Challenge is one of the largest cycling events in U.S. history and the largest spectator event in the history of the state. The USA Pro Challenge continues to set records in professional cycling by taking the riders to unprecedented elevations. Featuring a challenging course, the fourth annual race will spotlight the best of the best in professional cycling and some of America's most beautiful scenery.
More information can be found online at www.USAProChallenge.com and on Twitter at @USAProChallenge.