Independence Pass back in a big way as part of the USA Pro Challenge 2015.
USA cycling fans are content that they can bet on their favorite Pro Challenge competitors riding up the Independence Pass, this year. For last year, the Independence Pass was taken out of the USA Pro Challenge routing. The high elevation pass is located 20 miles east of Aspen. It was part of the route for 4 years, from 2010 to 2013.
According to US gambling news, the re-introduction of Independence Pass, will see cyclists going over the east side of the pass, then descending to a finish in Aspen, in Stage 3, from Copper Mountain to Aspen. The stage is scheduled this summer on 19 August. The next day, the pro bikers will commence stage 4, from Aspen to Breckenridge. They will then ride over the west side of Independence Pass to begin their morning.
Lobbyist wants Independence Pass to be a Pro Challenge fixture
In 2012, the race route took the bikers over the east side of the 12,095-foot pass in one stage, then over the west side, the day after. Erik Skarvan, Aspen cyclist and racing fan, has persistently been lobbying for Independence Pass to be a permanent feature of the route for the pros-on-bikes only race, hosted in Colorado only. While over in Newport Grand, which is one of Massachusetts bordering states, one casino operator is lobbying to move his casino even closer to the state border.
Skarvan, who is thrilled that the race will cross the pass twice again this year, said “You just can’t argue with the epic nature of that climb. A high-altitude pass not only rallies the fan base but it’s also a rush for the competitors. They need the adrenaline buzz they get from throngs of fans lining special sections the race route, particularly if they are struggling with the elevation”.
Racing fan, Charlie Tarver, who owns a bike shop in Aspen, observed that there is 3% less oxygen for each 1,000 feet, above sea level. At the top of Independence Pass, it’s reduced by about 36%. He noted that “In any stage race, a mountain like this on any day can affect the overall standings. That’s what makes it so hard. It’s like riding with a sock in your mouth”.
Tour de France is the world’s most popular bicycle race
Like Alpe d’Huez of the Tour de France, which begins July 4, Tarver thinks that Independence Pass can become the iconic parallel in American stage racing, especially since it is two times higher than almost every pass in the Tour de France. Independence Pass is part of bicycle racing history, thanks to the Alpine Cup and Coors Classic of the 1970s and 1980s.
“This is like a classic American climb. It’s where the stars shine. In a climb like this, you really find out what people are made of ”, Tarver continued. While cycling fan, Mike Tierney, from Aspen, pointed out that the USA Pro Challenge has to take advantage of the many high elevation road routes that are in Colorado, in order to distinguish the race, in cycling.
Independence Pass should be a brand for the USA Pro Challenge
Tierney would also like to witness the dawn of an individual time trial ccoming to Pike’s Peak and Mount Evans. These two peaks are above 14,000 feet high and have fairly smooth paths leading up to the top. He believes that including these in the individual time trial “could really push the top world’s best bicycle racers to their limits”.
With the Independence Pass incorporated back in the route, this will have sportsbetting fans anxious to bet on racers in Stage 3, in accordance with US gambling laws, as that day, the racers will charge up the east side of the pass, before the descent and finish in Aspen. It seems that more experienced climbers will try to use the high-elevation pass to their advantage, by widening the distance between themselves and the peloton.