2012 USA Pro Challenge — Stage 5

Breckenridge — Colorado Springs (117.9mi)

Friday 24 August

A rude awakening is the only way to describe the start of stage 5 from Breckenridge. After a few miles of neutral start laps, the racers will face the daunting 10-mile climb of Hoosier Pass to 11,500 feet. This will be the only real chance for the climbers on this day; they’ll have to be ready to go from the gun.

After the pass, a fast descent will take the race into Fairplay. Then, the face of the stage changes entirely. The high mountains are left behind and the sprinters and breakaway specialists will be able to roar to life and light up the race across the rolling terrain on their way to Woodland Park.

Descending into Woodland Park the racers may hit their fastest speeds of the week at the downhill sprint line, then continue downhill to Colorado Springs in the shadow of Pikes Peak. Once in the city it is no easy walk to the finish line. If a breakaway wants to survive or a sprinter wants to show his speed, he will have to survive the final hurdle of the day: a technical uphill run through Garden of the Gods park where the race will revisit the roads of last year’s prologue.

From the red rocks of the park, it is a quick downhill run to the only finishing circuits of this year’s race. The teams and sprinters will have three chances to see the finish line as they course through downtown Colorado Springs.