USA Pro Challenge

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.

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.

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!”

Valley Roundup 8-23-2013

Aug 23, 2013

Welcome to Valley Roundup for Friday 8-23-2013, a review of the week’s top news stories in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The big news story of this week came in on pedal power to the upper valley.  Year three of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge literally shut the place down on Monday afternoon.  By most accounts the race is a positive event…though it remains a tough sell for some.  We also discuss the big number of homes in Aspen that list their owners as corporations.  And, what would a review of the news be if we didn’t mention marijuana?  The retail sale of recreational marijuana is moving forward in fits and starts.

Also today one severe outlook on climate change sees an end to the global ski industry by century’s end.  We’ll talk with Porter Fox and editor at Powder magazine about his new book on climate change and the ski industry.

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.