Montrose — Crested Butte/Mount Crested Butte (99.2mi)
Tuesday 21 August
A mix of old and new awaits the racers on the second stage of 99 miles from Montrose to Mount Crested Butte. After departing the new host city of Montrose, the racers will learn that the new section of race course has a bit of a sting. The short but challenging climbs over Cerro Summit and Blue Mesa Summit await and make for early launch pads for a breakaway.
As the road levels out, it gives way to the picturesque twists and turns along the shores of Blue Mesa Reservoir before the race hits the first sprint line of the day in Gunnison.
Heading north from Gunnison, it will be time for the overall contenders to get serious. Breakaway time gaps will shrink, team leaders will move to the front, domestiques will protect and position their leaders and nerves will begin to twitch. The finish isn’t far.
Heading into downtown Crested Butte, there will be a final sprint line. But, three miles later, the finish awaits. Those with an eye towards overall victory must be prepared and positioned for the 2-mile climb to the line. Levi Leipheimer laid the foundations of victory here last year. Can he do it again in 2012?