NoCo leg of Pro Cycling Challenge finalized

The route for the 2013 USA Pro Challenge was announced Thursday, including a day spent riding the plains and mountains of Larimer County.

The country’s largest and most difficult bike race will spend Day 6 of the challenge in Northern Colorado before heading south to Denver for the race’s big finish.

The Northern Colorado portion of the race will begin in at the Ranch in Loveland, then wind through Windsor and Centerra before heading to Estes Park via downtown Loveland.

Cyclists will also pedal around parts of Horsetooth Reservoir before ending up in Old Town Fort Collins for the evening.

The race will take place Aug. 19-25, with Northern Colorado’s day falling on Aug. 24. Once cyclists arrive in Fort Collins, an afterparty will be thrown downtown.

Tourism officials, cyclings enthusiasts and others in the Northern Colorado community began working to put together a bid to bring the Pro Challenge to the area for months.

In November , Fort Collins Convention and Visitors’ Bureau CEO Jim Clark told the Business Report that about $600,000 would have to be raised to bring the race here. About half of that sum had been verbally committed at the time.

Fort Collins and Loveland each committed $50,000. Windsor and Estes Park verbally committed $10,000 each, as did the Fort Collins Downtown Business Association. The Fort Collins CVB committed $20,000.

2012’s race totaled 683 miles over seven days, and its economic impact, as estimated by IFM North America, was $99.6 million for the state, a significant bump over the $83 million in economic impact seen in 2011.

This is the first year that Northern Colorado cities have been added to the tour, and they are the only newcomers to the race.

Cyclists will also make their way through Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge, among other iconic Colorado cities.

More details about the Northern Colorado portion of the ride can be found here.

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