The Definitive Adventure-Oriented Guide to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Take your eyes off of the race every once in a while to enjoy some of these beautiful Colorado cities, home to incredible food, breathtaking views, and countless outdoor opportunities

George Hincapie wins the 2011 q

George Hincapie wins the 2011 queen stage into Aspen    Photo: Courtsey USA Pro Cycling Challen

The 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge may have been the coolest race ever to be held on American soil. We saw defending Tour champion Cadel Evans go on the attack, American Tejay Van Garderen prove he’s a man for the future before his breakout 2012 Tour, and team Liquigas show off their sprinting abilities.

Nearly one million people watched the race from the roadside. And it’s fair to say they were in for a treat. Not only did they witness some of the best racing in American history, but they traveled across some of the most famous roads in the West with stops in cities known for incredible food, breathtaking views, and countless outdoor opportunities.

For 2012, the race is back, and we have you covered with the most comprehensive outdoor-oriented spectator guide available. Making it from stage to stage—with time to spectate, eat, and enjoy the outdoors—isn’t an on-the-fly undertaking. It takes some careful planning, research, and a healthy heaping of spur-of-the-moment decision-making. But stick to our outline, and you’ll not only get a taste of the race but of what makes the West so very special.

And if you're not planning on attending this year's Pro Cycling Challenge, bookmark this page and use it as a guide for your next trip to Colorado. On the following pages, you'll find the coziest inns and hotels, the most delicious restaurants and diners, and a list of outdoor activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Pack your camping gear, a pair of sturdy boots, and a road bike, and leave the rest to us.

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