Lachlan Morton (Garmin Sharp) leads after Stage 2 of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge and explains before the start of Stage 3 where he got the license plate for his bike "down the street" in Breckenridge, CO. Photo credit: Jenise Jensen

Lachlan Morton (Garmin Sharp) leader after Stage 2 of the 2013 USAPC explains where he got the license plate for his bike “down the street” in Breckenridge, CO. Photo credit: Jenise Jensen

Admit it: you’ve watched the network broadcasts of the Tour de France for years and always found it fascinating. Although you’re not a cyclist it calls to you, drawing you in to watch each day’s competition and developments. You’ve stared at the TV screen taking it all in, the countryside, the riders, the fans – oh yes, the crazy fans, and always wondered what it would be like to see an event like this in person. But not living in France, you’ve simply thought of it as a wistful fantasy, a day dream you’ve revisited from time to time, accepting the improbability of the idea.

Dare. To. Dream.  Yes, that’s right, you can experience the thrill of a pro cycling event right here in Breckenridge, Colorado at the Stage 5 finish of the USA Pro Challenge (USAPC). With stunning views, steep mountain climbs, enthusiastic cheering crowds, and a festival atmosphere, the Breckenridge stage of the USAPC has plenty for you to experience live and in person! To start with, take a bike or better yet a leisurely stroll though town, and take in all the cyclists around you. It seems everyone wants to show their support – and what better way than wearing your own cycling gear? And while you’re at it, check out some of the other spectators, as they show their support by donning their wildest, wackiest outfits, complete with face or even body paint, as they get their cheer on! Mix and mingle with everyone as the excitement builds throughout the day!

The "Bikeiffel Tower" at the Riverwalk Lawn in Breckenridge, CO. Photo credit: Jenise Jensen

Fans enjoy race day events around the “Bikeiffel Tower” at the Riverwalk Lawn in Breckenridge, CO.

Then head over to the Riverwalk lawn and check out the Bikeiffel Tower, Breckenridge’s own version of the Eiffel Tower (ooh, la, la!), made completely out of bike parts. At lunch time, the action moves to Main Street where youngsters ages 2-5 can participate in the BGV Strider Challenge presented by the Grand Lodge on Peak 7. Using pedal-less bikes, toddlers will race down part of the same route that that the USA Pro Challenge racers will finish on later in the day. And the toddler version will have you cheering just as loud!  For a sneak peek at how these tots have been training all winter for this race, click here. This video will inspire you to get to the race early for a prime viewing spot to see this pint-sized action!

Then stake out your spot to watch the pro cyclists as they come through Breckenridge and head towards the finish line. Any spot you pick will be fine, but some of the most exciting viewing may be along the climb up Moonstone Road. Get your camera and a cowbell and cheer these pro racers as they finish Stage 5. Heck, with a little luck, you might just capture a selfie with some of cycling’s greatest athletes!  But do remember to stand back from the road as these racers come by, as they will be going faaaassst!

Riders push to the finish of Stage 2. Photo Credit: Jenise Jensen

Riders push to the 2013 finish of Stage 2.

But wait, the party doesn’t stop when the race ends! Wrap up your day of pro cycling celebration with a FREE concert by none other than Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Riverwalk Center. And…if you’re truly a fan, stay in town overnight and then head over to Vail in the morning to check out Stage 6. You can find affordable lodging options through GoBreck by clicking here. And when it’s all finished, I bet you’ll decide that there’s no longer a need to go to France. You’ve just tasted pro cycling at its best in the good ol’ USA, in beautiful sunny Colorado, and now your day dreams are of coming back to Breckenridge and the 2015 USA Pro Challenge. And we’ll be waiting for you! Check below for a photo gallery of last year’s 2013 USA Pro Challenge.

 

2013 USA Pro Challenge Gallery

 

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