The USA Pro Challenge bike race has been in full swing this past week in Colorado. It's the biggest stage race in the US and without a doubt one of the hardest multi-day races in the world. Disappointingly, the race didn't come through Boulder in 2011 and it stirred a lot of controversy. So to make up for it, they planned an absolutely epic route that would draw hundreds of thousands of crowds for 2012!
Flagstaff mountain is one of Boulder's signature climbs and couldn't have been a more perfect way to finish off a crazy mountainous stage. Although I should have never attempted to make my way up that thing in my current health condition, there was no way I was about to miss the single best day in American bicycling history!
We had a lot of friends racing which made the day even more exciting. Our good friend Alex Howes is a local favorite so his best bud Daimo went over the top to make sure he got some hometown recognition. Daimo had a huge banner and t-shirts made up then biked up to his scouted corner the second the roads were open to the public! It was pretty freaking awesome.
As you may have seen from other large bike races on television, costumes and outfits encompassing little no clothing is a general theme. Tom Torrance and Brian Taylor made it in a magazine last year dressed as Tiger and Pooh while chasing down Andy Schleck. This year they added Piglet and Eyore to make a complete ensemble.
This is what Flagstaff mountain looked like as the team cars tried to make their way up before the riders came though...absolutely unbelievable.
Here is Jens Voigt (one of cycling's favorite racers) coming through our 'Alex Howes corner'. We were told that over 250,000 people were out watching the race and there had to be 50,000 people on Flagstaff mountain alone. I'm not going to lie, it was probably a really stupid idea for me to go up there but I have no regrets. It was the one of the coolest things I have ever witnessed. After making my way home, I slept the rest of the day Saturday and never left my pajamas on Sunday. Hopefully I can rally a bit today and find out some news on all the bloodwork from last Tuesday.