"Bikes are the simplest form of transportation. Posters are the simplest form of art." That was the inspiration for ARTCRANK, a bike-themed poster festival started by creative director Charles Youel in Minneapolis in 2007 to highlight local artists, the goodness of bikes, and community.
Every ARTCRANK show—and there are now a dozen across the U.S. and in London—features
posters created by local artists from the host city. Admission is always free,
and posters are priced so that everybody can take home at least one.
Tom Danielson crashes the party on Stage 3. Photo: Jen Judge.
Much has been made about the oversize, fanatical crowds at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. To wit, over one million spectators came out to watch the inaugural race last year, and with an additional stage and an added year of momentum, the numbers are expected to be even bigger in 2012.
It certainly looked that way atop Independence Pass during the third and queen stage of the tour. Though Highway 82 closed to cars at 10:30 a.m., and though overnight camping was prohibited, and though swirling black clouds portended wicked storms for most of the day, the roadsides at this 12,096-foot pass were still parked out and the scene was a carnival of bike culture.
All the talk at this year’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the
American contenders: Levi Leipheimer, Tejay Van Garderen, Christian Vande
Velde, Tom Danielson. Because of the combination of high altitude and racing on
familiar terrain and the extra motivation of winning in front of a home crowd,
the U.S. cyclists are dictating the race.
But one name you might not have heard yet is Joe Dombrowski.
In just his second full year of racing with the Bontrager Livestrong
development team, the skinny, 20-year-old climber is a total newcomer to the
scene. But what he lacks in longevity, he’s made up for with results. Prior to
his first appearance at a pro-level race two years ago (the 2010 edition of the
Tour of Utah), this Virginia native’s racing experience amounted to a season of
casual, sport-class mountain biking. Since then, he has racked up an impressive
string of results, including third overall at the 2012 Tour of the Gila and
fourth overall at this year’s Tour of Utah. In May, he showed considerable
poise when he outgunned some of the best climbers in the world to finish
fourth on the prestigious Mt. Baldy stage at the Tour of California. And he
followed that up with a searing stage victory on the Gavia to seal the overall
win at the Under-23 Giro d’Italia.
On Stage 2 of the USAPCC, he rolled in seventh on the day
alongside climbing ace Tom Danielson and slipped into the best young rider’s
jersey. We caught up with this up-and-comer after the race.
Here's an opportunity for anyone who read Outside's interview with Davis Phinney and wondered, "How can I help?"
BMC Racing Team will be chasing a top finish at Sunday's time trial finale to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, both for Taylor Phinney on the stage and Tejay Van Garderen on the overall. No matter the results, though, the team will be celebrating later that evening at Living the Ride, a gala fundraiser to benefit the Davis Phinney Foundation.
Leipheimer won the 2011 USAPCC with a TT win, and he could do the same this year. Photo: Alex Kehr/Flickr.
The hottest race on the American cycling circuit begins today in Durango, Colorado, and the event is even more stacked with talent than it was last year. True, this year doesn't have quite the marquis billing of 2011, which featured the entire Tour de France podium (e.g. Cadel Evans and both Schleck brothers). But with five Pro Tour teams, six of the top 20 finishers from this year's Grand Boucle, a full roster of domestic talent, and what most are calling a harder parcours than last year, the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge (USAPCC) promises to be dramatic.
From grand tour powerhouses like Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso, and Andreas Klöden to young American upstarts such as Timmy Duggan and Matthew Busche, a dozen or more riders could contend for the title—at least on paper. Yet by our estimation the race will most likely come down to just a couple of Americans. Not only do the home teamers have the advantage racing at altitude—much of the race is at or near 10,000 feet, with a highpoint on day three's run over 12,126-foot Cottonwood Pass—they have the added incentive of winning a major race on their home turf. Here are our predictions.