KUSA - While snow blankets the mountain in Aspen, the USA Pro Challenge is already looking ahead to their fourth annual race in August of 2014.
Monday morning, exclusively on 9NEWS, the 2014 host cities were announced, along with a chance for fans to choose the route for the final stage.
The host cities and stages of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge include:
• Stage 1: Monday, Aug. 18 - Aspen Circuit Race
• Stage 2: Tuesday, Aug. 19 - Aspen to Mt. Crested Butte
• Stage 3: Wednesday, Aug. 20 - Gunnison to Monarch Mountain (mountaintop finish)
• Stage 4: Thursday, Aug. 21 - Colorado Springs Circuit Race
• Stage 5: Friday, Aug. 22 - Woodland Park to Breckenridge
• Stage 6: Saturday, Aug. 23 - Vail Individual Time Trial
• Stage 7: Sunday, Aug. 24 - ???
Fans will be able to help shape the race by logging on to www.prochallenge.com/PickStage7
and choosing from four options for Stage 7, including:
1. Denver Circuit Race similar to the final stage of the 2013 race
2. Start in Golden (2012 Stage 6 start city) and finish in Denver
3. Start in Boulder (2012 Stage 6 finish city) and finish in Denver
4. Start in Boulder and end in Golden
"We receive a lot of feedback from fans about the race and in particular the route, so, for the first time ever, we're having fans weigh in on the final stage," said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. "We're excited to hear from our passionate fans. The 2014 edition is going to be bigger and better than ever."
Known for serious altitude and intense climbs through the Colorado Rockies, the USA Pro Challenge is the largest spectator event in the history of the state.
2013 USA Pro Challenge winner Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing Team is pretty happy about the 2014 race starting in his backyard of Aspen.
"The USA Pro Challenge is something that motivates me from the start of the year," said van Garderen. "It takes place in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and that happens to be in my backyard. I'm looking forward to defending my title on another challenging course."
Additional details regarding the start and finish locations of the 2014 race, as well as the specific, detailed route will be announced in the spring.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)