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.

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.

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. 

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.