Yesterday (August 25) downtown Denver was really Bike City USA as the final stage of the USA Pro Challenge raced through the downtown streets. Thousands of spectators lined the eight-lap, 72.4-mile circuit to make noise and create a colorful party atmosphere for dozens of urban blocks.
Tejay van Garderen, age 25, finished in the main pack to maintain a 1 minute 30 second lead and earn the overall victory. Another stand-out and fan favorite, 23-year-old Peter Sagan of Slovakia out-sprinted the field to earn his fourth stage victory and wrap up a spot as Top Sprinter.
I hit the streets to capture the scene, spectators and racers alike.
—Photos by Sean McCoy
Tejay van Garderen on the USA Pro Challenge podium with his daughter Rylan
The ubiquitous Colorado flag and cowbell
Racers roll down Speer Boulevard
American flags fly frequently in the crowd over the very international field
Most downtown streets were closed to cars for the race, so be sure to bring a bike
The peloton charges through the course
Don’t forget to bring a camera or four
Clark Kent would be proud
Racers accelerate out of a corner at the USA Pro Challenge
A tough cycling goal on the “Before I Die” billboard in Denver
A well prepared spectator: note program, cycling hat, water bottle, helmet, backpack and jersey
Team cars chase the pack of the USA Pro Challenge
Racers pass the Denver Convention Center and “The Dancers”
If you happen to have a pair of these sweet bike glasses, by all means wear them
Don’t forget your swimsuit?
Also don’t forget a friend for the back half of your tandem
Yep, be sure to bring friends or make some new ones
Plenty of enthusiasm and a strong voice help along the course
Peter Sagan’s enormous cutout was popular along the course
Flair, wear plenty of flair
A message from some race officials
Dreams for next year
—Photos by Sean McCoy.