STEAMBOAT - Stage 4 is the Queen Stage of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge.
It features some previously used terrain, but with some added spice. One thing is for sure, the road to the final podium in Denver goes straight over Bachelor Gulch. A new start in Steamboat will send the race off onto new country roads around Routt County.
This roller coaster of small hills gives way to a gentle route south until the racers have to climb up from the river bottom at State Bridge. That's just the beginning, as the new approach to Beaver Creek will now send the racers up the new climb of Bachelors Gulch.
It may not be the longest or most well-known climb, but it is quite possibly the toughest. The relentless grade with pitches up to 18 percent will do real damage and create the sort of epic racing for which the Pro Challenge is known.
After Bachelor Gulch, the leaders still have to race down a technical descent and power up the final 2 km climb to Beaver Creek Village.
By that time the winner may not even have the strength left for a victory salute.
Stage 4 started at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Riders should be done around 4 p.m.
See the full Stage 4 route here: http://bit.ly/185H6bQ.
Jens Voight won the Most Courageous rider on Wednesday. Lachlan Morton remains in the yellow jersey as of Thursday, but Peter Sagan of Team Cannondale holds on to the Green Sprint jersey and Matt Cooke stays in the KMO jersey. Mathias Fränk won Stage 2 on Tuesday, and Sagan won Stage 1 of the USA Pro Challenge in Aspen on Monday.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)