The USA Pro Challenge confirmed on Tuesday the three-day women’s race to be held from August 21 to 23 in Colorado. The race will be held in conjunction with the seven-day pro men’s event.
“We are very excited to support women’s cycling in the U.S. and bring more of an awareness to these incredible athletes on a large stage in Colorado with world-class crowds,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “The women bring an entirely new dynamic to our race and we are confident the fierce skills of these riders will impress and inspire all of our passionate fans.”
The announcement was made in Breckenridge, where the women’s race will start, with a guest appearance from Mara Abbott (Wiggle-Honda). The two-time Giro Rosa winner said that she will compete in the three-day event this summer.
"I am beyond thrilled to have a chance to compete at the Women's USA Pro Challenge this year," Abbott said. "I think to be able to race on your home turf is special for any racer and especially for me because Colorado holds the majority of my heart. When the men finished up Flagstaff, only two blocks from the house where I grew up, I avoided the race entirely because I was jealous and sad. To get a chance to compete in the Colorado mountains is a dream come true.”
USA Pro Challenge organizers will offer equal prize money as the men. They also confirmed that the women’s race will start with an individual time trial in Breckenridge, and the final two stages will be held in Fort Collins and Golden. They will announce the full course details soon.
"This is great news for women's cycling that the USA Pro Challenge has added a women's division in 2015, which has been highly anticipated by the racers and the fans," Carpenter-Phinney said. "I know Colorado will embrace the women's race and 2015 will mark the start of a new era in women's racing!"