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Stars gather in Aspen ahead of USA Pro Challenge

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Jens Voigt (RadioShack)

Jens Voigt (RadioShack) (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Last year's USA Pro Challenge winner Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Sharp)

Last year's USA Pro Challenge winner Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Sharp) (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Cannondale) shows off the team's new black jersey

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) shows off the team's new black jersey (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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The Bontrager team is hoping the USA Pro Challenge isn't their swan song

The Bontrager team is hoping the USA Pro Challenge isn't their swan song (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Chris Froome (Sky) said he is not targeting the GC in Colorado

Chris Froome (Sky) said he is not targeting the GC in Colorado (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Cannondale) greets the crowd

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) greets the crowd (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Fans get up close to see Chris Froome walk the red carpet

Fans get up close to see Chris Froome walk the red carpet (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Andy Schleck (RadioShack) get the red carpet treatment

Andy Schleck (RadioShack) get the red carpet treatment (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Cannondale) runs the gauntlet of fans.

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) runs the gauntlet of fans. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Darwin Atapuma (Colombia)

Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Fans gather at Snowmass Village to catch a glimpse of the Tour de France champion Chris Froome

Fans gather at Snowmass Village to catch a glimpse of the Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Image credit: AFP Photo)

The USA Pro Challenge kicked off in Aspen, Colorado with the team presentation at Snowmass Village last night, with Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Sky) and green jersey winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale) headlining the event.

Although the tough climbs of Colorado should suit Froome on paper, he said that he is still trying to get back into form after a series of exhibition criteriums and some time off after the Tour.

“Hopefully, I can be here to help one of my teammates get the title," Froome told the fans at the presentation. "I’ve taken a bit of time off after the Tour and I’m going to try to use this race to try and get back into the swing of things and get ready for the World Championships.”

The seven-stage races begins on Monday with a circuit in Aspen, and concludes next Sunday with another high-speed stage in Denver. In between, there are numerous high-altitude ascents to tackle and several tricky finishes.

The festivities have already gotten underway in Aspen, with several recreational rides. The Aspen Sprint Challenge for amateur racers gets the competition underway tonight.