The event, in its second year, will cross the state between Aug. 20 and 26, beginning in Durango and ending once again in Denver. Colorado Springs will host the finish of Stage 5 on Aug. 24, which will start that morning in Breckenridge and finish with three circuits around downtown that afternoon. While the riders are not expected to hit the Springs until 3 or 4 p.m., the downtown core will begin celebrating at 11 a.m. with music, an expo, the obligatory beer gardens and other activities.
In 2011, the Challenge brought $83 million to the state, and per Jenkins and others at the event, the community is ready for an even bigger year than last. So far, five of the top 10 riders at the 2012 Tour de France have confirmed that they will be in attendance. While TdF winner Bradley Wiggins has not yet confirmed, the Challenge is still in pursuit of the first Brit to win the Tour. "Wiggo" must first tackle winning gold for his country with his four road-racing teammates at the 2012 London Olympics tomorrow.
As for the Springs, the T-shirts are ready.
As are the cowbells.
Now we just need the riders.