The USA Pro Cycling Challenge: Stage 7

Denver Time Trial

Aug 16, 2012
Outside Magazine
The Denver skyline

The Denver skyline    Photo: Hogs555/Wikimedia

The race of truth comes to Denver, and it may just decide the tour's outcome. At 9.5 miles in length, the stage is probably too short for any rider to make up a large time gap, but it’s long enough to reshuffle the podium. While they sweat it out on the bike, you'll be having a luxury experience on Market Street.

WHERE TO STAY: The Oxford Hotel, because you deserve it after a week of camping. It’s located in the LoDo district near some of the city’s best food and practically around the corner from where the race will head.

WHAT TO DO: Walk the mall, check out the newly-built History Colorado Center (and be sure to walk through the mining exhibit), visit the futuristic-looking art museum, and head over to the massive REI to play in the water and relax at Fishback Landing Park.

WHERE TO EAT: For breakfast and lunch, there is no better place than the Marketplace. Get a smothered burrito and mug of coffee, and people watch in historic Larimer Square. Don’t forget a slice of their Spring Fling cake, either. It’s fruity, light, and simply delicious. If you have the time, rent a bike from one of the bike share stations and ride the path along Cherry Creek to the Cheery Creek Grill. While you’ll miss some of the race, their homemade veggie burger is worth it (go early to catch the leaders who will start last). And if you’re lucky, the artichoke will be in season. It pairs wonderfully with the prime rib sandwich, one of the best you’ll ever have. You’ll need a reservation, but Rioja is the place for dinner. They bill themselves as the best restaurant in town, and it's hard to disagree. Pick a starter, continue with the artichoke tortellini, and finish with the beignets.

HOW TO WATCH THE RACE: Between bites of burrito, watch the race from the LoDo district. Pick a corner and prepare to be amazed.

RACE DAY SCHEDULE: Racing begins at 1:00 p.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m.

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