The 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge comes to Colorado Aug. 22-28 and local Tom Danielson is a favorite to win the state's first major race in two decades. Danielson rode in his first Tour de France this July and finished ninth overall, the highest-finishing American. He is one of the top favorites in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge because Danielson, a Boulder resident, has trained in the state for years.
Day 1 of the Challenge starts with a prologue that begins in the Garden of the Gods and goes for 5.5 miles through Old Colorado Springs and into downtown of the Springs. Because of the high elevation of Colorado Springs, the riders will already be racing at heights greater than they faced in the Tour de France. However, they face a slight decline as they make their way toward the finish line.
Danielson will face many of his fellow competitors from the Tour de France. He will be up against Cadel Evans, the winner of the TDF, and the Schleck brothers, Andy and Frank. Andy was the runner-up in the 2011 TDF. Evans will be the last rider to start, giving him plenty to aim for while he makes his way out of the Garden of the Gods
The scheduled start time for the prologue is 1:15 p.m. MT. Riders will leave one minute apart before the final 10 are at two minute apiece. The cyclists should cross the finish line by 3:45 p.m. MT. Versus will have live coverage of the race for the entire week.