Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare) hails from the Pacific Northwest but now calls Colorado home. As a Colorado native he has a special relationship with the the USA Pro Challenge which starts in Steamboat, Colorado on August 17th.
At Sunday's press conference at the Steamboat Grand, Reijnen discussed Colorado's enthusiastic fans.
"One of the highlights of my career was racing up Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder," Reijnen said. "I had tons of friends and family out there but also just the fans in general, they are incredible. The whole way up that climb I couldn't hear myself breath cause everyone was screaming so loud. It was just an incredible experience."
Reijnen pointed to a handful of stages, including Breckenridge and Denver, which he thought would be spectator and TV friendly. Reijnen singled out the Arapahoe Basin finish for those looking to see the true beauty of cycling.
"I also think A-Basin is going to be an incredible mountaintop finish where you will see guys suffering all over the road for about an hour coming through," Reijnen said.
Reijnen enters this year's Pro Challenge as a rider to watch. Reijnen's familiarity with the terrain, comfort racing at altitude both work in his favor. In addition, Reijnen won the Aspen stage in 2014. Reijnen's past success in Colorado, and recent performance in Utah, have given the UnitedHealthcare rider a shot of confidence heading into this year's race.
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