Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Scenes from the USA Pro Cycling Challenge prologue

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I'm not usually one for sentimental city pride — but damn Colorado Springs — well done!

Yesterday's prologue to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge was well attended (we'll tell you how well attended in this upcoming Thursday's Indy), and our town's enthusiasm was noticed by organizers who'll determine whether we get to host the prologue again in future years.

Hold your hands high Colorado Springs — by all accounts thus far, we all won big at yesterday's prologue. The podium: Germany's Patrick Gretsch in first, American Christian Vande Velde in second and American Brent Bookwalter in third.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Hold your hands high Colorado Springs — by all accounts thus far, we all won big at yesterday's prologue. The podium: Germany's Patrick Gretsch in first, American Christian Vande Velde in second and American Brent Bookwalter in third.

The riders also felt the love.

Tom Danielson, after the race, tweeted:

Thank you everyone for your incredible support! You guys gave me goose bumps! ... I have to say hats off to @USAProChallenge and Colorado Springs today! Way to put on a world class event today. Proud to be a part of it!

You can find lots more excited chatter all over the web and you can visit the USA Pro Cycling Challenge's website to view yesterday's results as well as watch today's Stage 1 match from Salida to Crested Butte.

If you were anywhere along the race route yesterday, I'm sure you took your own photos of the riders, but I'll share with you the shots I took near the finish line as well as from 30th Street to Ridge Road along Pikes Peak Avenue, and shots from the award ceremony and post-race press conference.

Here's a slideshow of riders between Ridge Road and 30th Street on Pikes Peak Avenue and at the finish line. You'll see announcers Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen in one of the early photos, as well as Tour de France winner Cadel Evans in the final frame.

As racer Timmy Duggan told us during a pre-race interview, all prologue gear is designed around being as aerodynamic as possible.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • As racer Timmy Duggan told us during a pre-race interview, all prologue gear is designed around being as aerodynamic as possible.

Here's a slideshow of BMC Racing Team rider Timothy Roe taking the turn from Pikes Peak Avenue onto 30th Street.

In a time trial, riders hug every turn as tightly as possible — those that risk higher speeds sometimes earn a podium visit.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • In a time trial, riders hug every turn as tightly as possible — those that risk higher speeds sometimes earn a podium visit.

Here's a slideshow of riders negotiating the turn from Ridge Road onto Pikes Peak Avenue, the most daunting of the race.

Christian Vande Velde commented at the post-race press conference that he didnt want to end his race by taking this turn too fast. No doubt other riders felt the same way.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Christian Vande Velde commented at the post-race press conference that he didn't want to end his race by taking this turn too fast. No doubt other riders felt the same way.

Lastly, here's a slideshow of the winner's podium and post-race press conference, including shots of governor John Hickenlooper and mayor Steve Bach, Patrick Gretsch, Christian Vande Velde, Brent Bookwalter and Colorado Springs native orange jersey winner Danny Pate.

Springs native Danny Pate earned the most aggressive rider jersey; here he jokes with Boulder-based rider and second place finisher Christian Vande Velde at the post-race press conference.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Springs native Danny Pate earned the most aggressive rider jersey; here he jokes with Boulder-based rider and second place finisher Christian Vande Velde at the post-race press conference.

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