So you're excited to head out and watch the big race. Or maybe you're not excited at all, and you're just hoping to avoid a traffic headache. Whatever your feelings, here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind.
There will be extensive closures along the route, including parts of well-traveled streets like Colorado Avenue, Tejon Street and Pikes Peak Avenue. Tejon, in fact, will be closed between Kiowa Street and Colorado Avenue from 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, all the way until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, about 39 hours later. Same for Pikes Peak Avenue between Cascade and Nevada avenues. If you're planning on driving downtown at all on either day, or on the west side on Thursday, it's probably worth taking a look at the full rundown: tiny.cc/302fkx.
Race organizers have designated parking garages and lots for spectators. The downtown parking garages are located at the intersections of Colorado and Nevada avenues; Bijou Street and Cascade Avenue; Vermijo Avenue and Sahwatch Street; and Costilla and Tejon streets. In Old Colorado City, spectator parking is available in lots off South 26th and West Cucharras streets; West Pikes Peak Avenue near South 24th Street; and South 26th Street near West Pikes Peak Avenue. There's a helpful map of the best spots at tiny.cc/x92fkx.
Bring an umbrella, or scope out a covered deck at a local restaurant or café — it's highly unlikely that the race will be canceled for bad weather. In the very unlikely event that lightning or blocked roads present a real danger to cyclists, the race could be shortened or delayed.
The awards ceremony will be about 10 minutes long and will take place near the finish line at the end of the race. (The race is expected to end between 3:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.) There will be awards for King of the Mountains (the fastest person to climb Ridge Road), plus first-, second- and third-place stage winners. And, of course, one rider will be awarded the yellow jersey for leading the overall race based on cumulative finish times. Spectators are encouraged to stick around for the festival after the awards ceremony, which will be going strong until 6 p.m.
Folks will be using the hashtag "#ProChallengeCOS" for Stage 4 of the race, and "#USAProChallenge" for the race overall. Don't forget to follow @ProChallengeCOS and @USAProChallenge.
If you don't make it out of the house, the race can be watched on the following networks: NBCSN LIVE (1:30 to 4 p.m.), Universal Sports ReCap (8 to 9 p.m.), and NBCSN ReCap (midnight to 1 a.m.). Also, Pro Challenge Tour Tracker applications are available for iPhone and Android, and allow you to follow the race in real time.
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