KAJX

cycling

Elise Thatcher

  More than a hundred professional cyclists are getting ready to pedal out of the Roaring Fork Valley. They’re racing in the fifth year of the USA Pro Challenge. Pro riders will take off from Aspen mid morning for a demanding day back up and over Independence Pass to Breckenridge.

Volunteers essential to USA Pro Challenge in Aspen

Aug 19, 2015
Marci Krivonen

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge brings to Aspen not just professional cyclists, but visitors, vendors and infrastructure. To put on the event that spans two days, the City of Aspen relies heavily on volunteers. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Volunteers trickle into headquarters in downtown Aspen early Wednesday. At the registration table, they grab lanyards and get directions.

"It’s slow and steady right now, but everyone’s excited and it’s good," says Beth Hansen.

Marci Krivonen

The Castle Creek valley just outside of Aspen is becoming increasingly popular to recreationists like hikers and cyclists. Pitkin County and the White River National Forest are taking comments from the public on how to best manage the area. 

2015 USA Pro Challenge Invites Women Racers

Mar 31, 2015
Photo Courtesy of USA Pro Challenge

A new race is coming to the cycling circuit and will start in Colorado. The USA Pro Challenge announced today it will be opening a new competition for female racers starting this summer. The Women’s USA Pro Challenge will take place August 21st to the 23rd. The three day event starts in Breckenridge and will hit Fort Collins before wrapping up in Golden on August 23rd. This is the first time in the history of the USA Pro Challenge that parts of the men’s course will be open to women and competitors will race for the same prize money.

Outside Magazine

Disgraced Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has pleaded guilty to hitting two parked cars in town late last year. Armstrong paid the fine via mail on Friday. The guilty plea closes the case and also keeps Armstrong from a court appearance in Pitkin County.

On December 28th, Armstrong's girlfriend, Anna Hansen, originally told Aspen police she was driving and that icy conditions caused the accident on the city’s west end. She later confessed to lying to police in an effort to avoid media attention.

Marci Krivonen

Aspen and Snowmass Village have played host before to the USA Pro Challenge but, for the first time this year, the race will travel through Basalt and Carbondale. Cyclists begin “stage two” of the race in Aspen just after 10 o’clock Tuesday morning. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, Downvalley communities are rolling out the red carpet.

Mountain Edition - July 3rd, 2014

Jul 3, 2014

Sunday marks an anniversary of a local tragedy. A wildfire near Glenwood Springs 20 years ago, killed fourteen firefighters.

As the cycling world gears up from the Tour de France, the sport is still dusting itself off. We hear from Lance Armstrong who was found guilty of doping.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was in Aspen this week, discussing two hot topics at the Aspen Ideas Festival - marijuana and fracking.

Another Ideas Fest speaker was Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform.

A natural history documentary screens on PBS next year and this one is unlike any other nature film. We’ll tell you why.

Finally, we’ll take you to Snowmass Village where a giant yoga festival gets underway today.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition.

Outside Magazine

   As the cycling world gears up for the Tour de France start this coming Saturday, July 5th, the sport is still dusting itself off. A generation of riders were found guilty of cheating in the late nineties through mid-two thousands. One of the most well-known riders was part-time Aspen resident Lance Armstrong who is now stripped of his many wins and banned from the sport. Organizers and riders alike say the sport is far cleaner now. Armstrong and two other former pro cyclists took some time to look back on the choices they made, and what comes next.  

Elise Thatcher

The USA Pro Challenge will return to the area this August, only this time it’ll cover more ground in the Roaring Fork Valley. The race will spend the first day in Aspen and Snowmass Village. The second day, riders head down valley through Basalt and Carbondale, then cycle over an unpaved pass to Crested Butte. Like in previous years, the route has prompted debate among local officials about which roads are best. So far at least one official is in favor of the proposed itinerary. 

Study Looks at Capacity and Use of Rio Grande Trail

Mar 19, 2014
Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

An increasing number of groups want to use the Rio Grande Trail to host events like running and cycling races. So, Pitkin County commissioned a survey. The results show how many people use the trail during peak times and whether there’s a tolerance from the public for additional events. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Over a decade ago, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Director Dale Will says it was common to see local, non-profit races on the Rio Grande like the Buddy Program’s annual 5-mile race. But in recent years, interest in holding such races has shot up.

Sony Pictures Classics/Photoshot

Tarnished cyclist Lance Armstrong is at the center of an ongoing controversy about doping in the sport. He’s also now in the spotlight in Hollywood. The first of several anticipated movies about the iconic athlete recently showed in Aspen. In The Armstrong Lie, award winning director Alex Gibney examines the underbelly of the the cyclist’s career. Reporter Elise Thatcher caught up with viewers after a showing at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.

Mountain Edition - November 14th, 2013

Nov 14, 2013

Energy planners gathered in Carbondale this week to compare notes and strategize about funding.

The Town of Basalt approves a home for senior citizens. Now, there’s an effort underway to recruit residents.

Snowmass Village takes a stab at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The town has some of the highest per capita in the nation.

An independent study finds the Roaring Fork Valley’s mass transit system means big savings for residents.

We find out whether Lance Armstrong had anything to do with death threats against the national agency to prevent doping.

We’ll wrap up with the latest from our Road to Sochi series. Olympic hopeful Meg Olenick aims to be one of the first compete in a sport new to the winter games.

James Startt

Making a death threat against someone in another state gets serious attention from federal law enforcement. Two passionate Lance Armstrong fans recently plead guilty to threatening one of the top people investigating whether the iconic athlete doped. One was Utah resident Robert Hutchins, who will be sentenced in February in Denver. He faces up to five years in jail and a maximum $250,000 fine. In a separate case, Florida resident and doctor Gerrit Kuechle Keats plead guilty to similar threatening charges earlier this fall.

Valley Roundup - October 18th, 2013

Oct 18, 2013

On the show today Carolyn Sackariason and Andy Stone join us to discuss the closing of Little Annie’s in Aspen.  It’s one more landmark of Aspen’s funky days that will likely disappear.

Aspen Valley Hospital chooses a new CEO.  In his job interview he named transparency as a high priority.

Also today, parking fees are set to go up in Aspen next year and a new book about Lance Armstrong blames him for the biggest sports conspiracy…ever.

And on the Download this week…the bumpy rollout of Obamacare’s tech side

Its all head on today’s Valley Roundup.

Mountain Edition - October 17th, 2013

Oct 17, 2013

Businesses currently selling medical marijuana will be allowed to sell recreational pot on January 1st, if they’re willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a license. Dispensary owners say the added business would be a boon.

The story of Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace continues to unfold. In a new book, two Wall Street Journal reporters explore the financial underpinnings of how and why the cyclist cheated.

A coal mine over the mountains near Paonia recently laid off many of its employees. The layoffs and that could hurt local communities.

And, we’ll examine at coal mining across the country and look into the challenges the industry’s currently facing.

Finally, we introduce you to a young female snowboarder looking to make the Olympic team in a new event - snowboard slopestyle.

Penguin Group

A veritable avalanche of information has come out about cyclist Lance Armstrong doping during his career. The iconic athlete even confessed to it in an Oprah interview early this year. But the details keep coming, now in a book by two Wall Street Journal reporters. Vanessa O’Connell and Reed Albergotti explore the financial underpinnings of how and why Armstrong cheated, in the book “Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever.” Armstrong is a part-time Aspen resident. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher recently spoke with O’Connell and Albergotti.

Elise Thatcher

Early in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, Aspen Public Radio spent some time with the official drug tester for the International Cycling Union.  You can hear that story here. New testing procedures are in effect in an effort to show the sport is trying to clean up after years of doping scandals.  In the second report, we take a look at the competing agencies tasked with making sure the athletes are clean. [Note: see above for photos of drug testing chaperones during the 2013 USA Pro Challenge.]

Elise Thatcher

The USA Pro Challenge finished up in Denver on Sunday. After a week crossing Colorado, competitors in the international bike race made several laps in the heart of Denver. In the end though, it was a far different finish than a year ago.

It was a moment three years in the making. After two near misses, pro cyclist Tejay van Garderen finally clinched the yellow winner’s jersey.

Announcer Brad Sohner: “These folks love seeing Tejay van Garderen win, you gotta feel the love in Colorado!”

Tejay van Garderen: “Yeah, let me feel that love one more time!”

Elise Thatcher

All week, the USA Pro Challenge has flashed across TV, computer, and mobile screens… thanks to a film crew on motorcycles. Now we bring you what it’s like to be, literally, in the middle of the peloton. On Stage 2 of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher rode in a team car with the Champion System pro cycling team.

  

Every day, before a race begins, the Champion System team meets in their RV. A handful of cyclists sit quietly, suited up in racing jerseys, looking pensive. General Manager Ed Beamon lays out the strategy.

Elise Thatcher

Cycling is trying to prove it’s clean. The sport has had a public relations disaster as one after another rider has admitted to doping in years past... including icon and superstar Lance Armstrong. But organizers and younger athletes maintain the sport is far cleaner now, partly because of the kinds of tests used to catching athletes cheating. Aspen Public Radio took a look at what that actually involves.

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