USA Pro Challenge

  Government, spectators and volunteers are adjusting to not having the USA Pro Challenge this summer. One of the most enthusiastic supporters has been the City of Aspen.

Alycin Bektesh

  There will be no USA Pro Challenge this year. In a statement released today, event CEO director Shawn Hunter said there isn’t enough time in 2016 to shift to new ownership and have the event.

Mountain Edition - August 20th, 2015

Aug 20, 2015

The USA Pro Challenge returns to Aspen with help from a small army of volunteers.

Hazy air also arrived this week, from fires in the Pacific Northwest.

We hear from a painter who also wrote lyrics for Elton John.

The Aspen Music Festival and School gets ready to wrap up another season.

Carbondale commuters deal with a restricted popular park and ride.

And an Aspen developer drops an affordable lodge plan to avoid a ballot measure.

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.

Pro cycling race will close Independence Pass

Aug 17, 2015
Facebook/USA Pro Challenge

The biggest impact to local traffic this week from the USA Pro Challenge will be on Independence Pass.

The professional cyclists will arrive in Aspen Wednesday (8/19) via Independence Pass. They’ll leave town the next day, on Thursday (8/20), headed to Breckenridge in stage four of the race.

This is the fifth year the riders will move through Aspen. The race always brings traffic disruptions.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

The smells of legalization permeate up and down the valley, and the odor of marijuana has some people plugging their noses and complaining to city officials.

An investigation is brewing around a nonprofit in Glenwood and whether funds were misappropriated.

Meanwhile, there’s more debate on oil and gas drilling in the valley.

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.

Mountain Edition - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Aspen City Council decides to take up lodging incentives again-- but much more cautiously.

Garfield County Commissioners suggest alternate routes for energy companies to reach leases on the contested Thompson Divide.

And the Glenwood Springs Police Department aims to crack down on people who don’t lock up their trash from bears.

The USA Pro Challenge announces Aspen will be included again in its route for 2015, only this time it won’t be the start.

Your Evening News - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

Snowmass Village Takes Public Comment on Council Replacement

The Town of Snowmass Village is taking public comment on its effort to fill a fifth town council seat. Voters last month elected Markey Butler as Snowmass Village mayor, so the council seat she previously held became available. On Monday, town council members interviewed eight citizens interested in filling the seat. Now it’s up to the community to narrow the pool before the council votes for a candidate on December 8th. Butler said in a statement the council is calling on the community to help identify which candidate is a good fit on council and a good representative for the community. The interviews with the eight candidates can be seen online at Feedback must be submitted to the town via email before Monday’s meeting.

Bad Flu Circulating in Colorado

Colorado’s health department is warning the flu season could be especially bad this winter. That’s because a certain strain has been showing up more often. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Employment says influenza A is more likely to send someone to the hospital and it’s been the culprit for most cases this year.

There’s been a bump in people getting sick from the strain at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In other years, Influenza A has caused more hospitalizations and deaths.

The Health Department is recommending signing up the flu vaccine to best avoid it, although officials also admit about half of the flu viruses showing up are not in this winter’s flu shot.

Your Morning News - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

Big Bike Race Comes Back to Aspen

Aspen will be included in the USA Pro Challenge once again.The route for the 2015 cycling race was announced live on Denver’s 9news this morning. The race starts on August 17th in Steamboat Springs and moves through Arapahoe Basin and Copper before it arrives in Aspen. From Aspen, the cyclists head to Breckenridge.

Aspen has hosted the race several times. In August of this year, it started in Aspen/Snowmass.

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. 

Save Wagner Park

Nov 6, 2013
Aspen Spin

FULL DISCLAIMER:   I live near Wagner Park in the center of Aspen.  I love Wagner Park.  My dog and I have played ball in Wagner Park almost every day for 11 years.  I believe that open spaces should be cherished and protected.   I want to save Wagner Park.

I have lost complete confidence in our elected officials and the City of Aspen to make well informed and reasonable decisions, especially concerning Wagner Park. They always seem to sell out to the highest bidder.  My Mom & Dad taught me to stick-up for myself, but warned me not to be a complainer.  Every once in a while those two traits come to loggerheads.   I don't want to sound like a complainer....but here's my take.

Mountain Edition - October 10th, 2013

Oct 10, 2013

The government shutdown trudges on but Pitkin County is working to alleviate the pain by increasing access to a local attraction on federal land.

A proposal for funding public education has been called historic by Colorado’s governor. But, the ballot measure could stretch wallets.

The Aspen Skiing Company hopes to catch the eye of up and coming skiers from certain Asian countries.

And, changes may be in store if the USA Pro Challenge bike race returns to the upper Roaring Fork Valley next year. We talk with an economist who says big sporting events may not mean more money for the towns hosting them.

Finally, we get an update on local athletes training for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia.

Economic Boost from Bike Race? Probably not.

Oct 9, 2013
Roger Adams

Planning for next year’s USA Pro Challenge bike race in Aspen is already underway.   Despite some complaints this year because of road closures it appears the bike race has the support of local government officials and will become a yearly event.  This despite a lack of evidence showing any economic gains for the upper valley.   Aspen Public Radio's Roger Adams explains:

Steve Skadron is Aspen’s Mayor .  This week Aspen Public Radio asked him what the was the economic boost from hosting the USA Pro Challenge bicycle race.

Elise Thatcher

The USA Pro Challenge finished just over a month ago, and planning for next year’s edition has already begun. Aspen plans to apply to host the race again in 2014... and officials have started looking at whether to improve on how things went during the 2013 edition of the race. Discussions range from road closures to conversations with international cycling officials in Europe.

Mountain Edition - August 29th, 2013

Aug 30, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced it won’t try and stop Colorado and Washington State from allowing recreational marijuana.

Basalt officials say they’re on track to move nearly forty families living in a trailer park. It’s part of a redevelopment plan… and some of the families say they can’t afford to stay in Basalt.

We’ll find out what the reaction in Aspen was to the USA Pro Challenge, which took over parts of the Upper Valley last week.

And, what the latest is on what cycling officials are doing to catch doping… turns out they don’t necessarily agree with each other.

A Glenwood Springs teacher is teaming up with NOAA to chart the ocean floor. She sets sail early next month.

An accomplished local author is taking readers across the world. Her latest novel will be published soon. It chronicles an early feminist in the 19th century Ottoman Empire.

And, The Colorado State Fair continues in Pueblo through the weekend… we have an audio postcard.

Mostly positive feedback for USA Pro Challenge

Aug 28, 2013

The USA Pro Challenge has come to an end, and now the City of Aspen wants to know what everyone thought. Last night (Tues. 8-27-13), the city council invited the public to give feedback on the race. Aspen Public Radio’s Rebecca Kruth reports.  

More than 30 people took to the mic at last night’s meeting to voice their thoughts on the cycling event which took center stage in Aspen last week.

No one described any major inconveniences, and the comments were mostly supportive.

Aspen resident Blanca O’Leary said the race embodied Aspen ideals.

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!”