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Colorado's USA Pro Challenge adds three-day women's race

Published March 31, 2015

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (BRAIN) — Colorado's pro road state race, the USA Pro Challenge, announced Tuesday that it would include a three-day women's stage race this year in conjunction with the seven-day men's race.  Women will race on parts of the men's race course and each day's prize money will be the same as the men's race.

The invitation-only women's race will kick off in Breckenridge, Colo., on Aug. 21 and conclude in Golden on Aug. 23.

"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, the 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."

Boulder, Colo. resident Mara Abbott said she was "beyond thrilled" to have a chance to race on her home turf.  In 2010, Abbott, who races for the Wiggle-Honda Pro Cycling team, became the first American to win the Giro Donne, one of the Grand Tours of women's bicycle racing.

"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."

The complete race details are still being finalized, however organizers announced that the women's race will begin in Breckenridge with an individual time trial to coincide with the men's time trial in Breckenridge. The other two stage routes are in Fort Collins and Golden.

The men's race starts Aug. 17 in Steamboat Spring and concludes in Denver on Aug. 23.

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