A press release today from the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge announced this year's race route, mostly touting the record-breaking elevation gains and crazy-ass mountain passes the riders will once again have to endure.
My colleague J. Adrian Stanley already posted on this earlier today, but I wanted to follow up with more details of this year's course finish in downtown Colorado Springs.
The release included a map of the Stage 5 Colorado Springs finish, which will be reminiscent of last year's prologue course, in that it winds through Garden of the Gods and into downtown. But this year's course differs by coming off Colorado Avenue and heading north on Cascade Avenue into Colorado College, before turning back down Tejon Street into a Colorado Avenue finish. Should be great for fitting a ton of spectators comfortably into downtown.
If the screen shot below doesn't cut it for you, take a look here where you can zoom in for detail: 12_COS_Route.pdf
Stage 5: Breckenridge to Colorado Springs – Friday, Aug. 24
Stage 5 will see two returning host cities, but in new roles. A rude awakening is the only way to describe the start of Stage 5 in Breckenridge. After a short flat section through downtown, the riders will have to face the daunting 10-mile climb up Hoosier Pass, which tops out at 11,500 ft. The summit is followed by a fast descent into Fairplay and with that, the high mountains are left behind and a day for the sprinters and breakaway specialists awaits. A fast rush across Colorado’s high plains end with a Sprint Line in Woodland Park where the riders may hit their fastest speeds of the week, and from there they continue downhill to Colorado Springs through the shadow of Pikes Peak. Once in Colorado Springs the route will take a technical uphill run through the Garden of the Gods, home of the 2011 Prologue. >From there the route takes a quick downhill run to downtown for the 2012 race’s only finishing circuits. With the peloton passing through the finish line three times as they blast around downtown Colorado Springs spectators will be treated to a thrilling elbow-to-elbow competition that can reach up to 35 mph.