Friday afternoon stage 4 will send riders into town on highway 131 and once closer to town US40/Lincoln Ave. People driving up on Friday can cut through Silverthorne and over Gore Pass to watch racers come past the small town of Toponas (population 5). If you turn left from Gore Pass and head South there is a significant climb at near 9000 feet with good spectating opportunities about 5 miles out from downtown Toponas. From Toponas to Steamboat the course is about 40 miles and specators could potentially drive back over Gore pass and into Steamboat on US40 to catch the finish. Driving time is estimated at 1.2 hours/73 miles, but racers may cover the 40 miles to town in well under 2 hours.
At the finish on Friday, the best spots to watch the racers will be anywhere near downtown with up close spots on a section of River Rd, Mt Werner Rd, and US40 to the sprint finish downtown. The estimated finish time is somewhere between 330pm and 4pm.
For Stage 5, racers will roll down from the Ski Area and head straight for Rabbit Ears Pass, with an estimated 2350ft of gain and solid 6% steady grade. At 7.1 miles in length, most local riders can tackle this climb between 30 and 40 minutes at an average speed of ~12mph. Spectating on the pass will be outstanding with numerous spots to camp and watch the riders approach and pass by. If you are late to get to the pass, head straight for the lower section where a long wide open approach gives plenty of time to see the racers off in the distance and heading onto the pass. From that point, there are numerous long straight sections that will give plenty of time to see racers, great photo opportunities and room to run alongside the peleton in your sumo costume. The West summit of Rabbit Ears will likely be jammed with people, so if you get their early head lower from the top where you can get up close to the riders and still be near enough to the top to catch any decisive moves.
If you want to catch the action at the finish in Breckenridge, a quick drive back down 131 to I70 and over to Breck will take about 2.5 hours.
Full Steamboat stage details at http://www.steamboatprocycling.com/
If you come early on Friday, be sure to grab a tour at Moots Cycles in addition to all of the great local businesses in town. Moots has a state of the art factory in Steamboat with 24 employees handcrafting titanium bikes. Plus one week after the US Pro Challenge, Steamboat is hosting a four day Stage Race, now in it’s third year, for pro-amateur road racers and sponsored by Moots.