Archive for August, 2011

Colorado ski resorts spending big on improvements for new season

It’s an “arms race” out there for ski resorts, which must add new features and upgrade services often or risk being left behind by other resorts.

While that might be an expensive proposition for resort owners, it’s music to the ears of those who ski, ride or just come to hang out at the resorts during the upcoming winter season.

The Denver Post took a look at what Colorado resorts were working on from Vail to Winter Park, Solvista to Crested Butte, Aspen to Durango Mountain Resort. See what’s new.

Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter for updates on more adventures.

Race wrapup and up-close look at the peleton on the final day of USA Pro Cycling Challenge

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

The peleton spins out of a turn at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge during the final stage in Denver.

Levi Leipheimer won the inaugural  USA Pro Cycling Challengewhich concluded Sunday. But the bike-crazy fans of Colorado felt like winners as well, flocking in large crowds to each stage, with as many as 250,000 coming on the final day in Denver. What was the scene like? Check out this “homemade” video to hear and see the excitement at a turn on the course.

Need a update on the race that included the likes of Christian VandeVelde, Tejay VanGarderen,Tom Danielson, George Hincapie, Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, as well as Andy and Frank Schleck? Here are reports on each stage:

Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter for updates on more adventures.

Leipheimer the champion as first USA Pro Cycling Challenge concludes in Denver

Levi Leipheimer

USA Pro Cycling Challenge champion Levi Leipheimer

Denver — Perhaps we should have figured a Montana native by the name of Levi would tame the Colorado high country and win the inaugural  USA Pro Cycling Challenge. But it took a lot more than a birthplace for Levi Leipheimer to win, starting with his record run in the time trial on Wednesday on Vail.

And surprisingly, after several days of the yellow jersey moving from rider to rider, the final four days produced no changes in the order of finish or the time gaps. Which didn’t make Sunday’s final ride into Denver any less entertaining than the rest of the race, producing several breakaways in front of a huge crowd, estimated at 250,000, to watch this 518-mile race come to an end. And while Elia Viviani, who had won previous sprint finishes in Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge, could have won on Sunday, he worked to help his teammate, Daniel Oss, win instead.

And when it was over, Leipheimer hung on for the win, followed by Christian VandeVelde (:11 back), Teejay VanGarderen (:17), Tom Danielson (:21) and veteran George Hincapie (:53) to give Americans a sweep of the race’s top five spots.

Tour de France champion Cadel Evans acquited himself well, finishing seventh (1:18 back), but things didn’t go as well for his podium mates from the tour, Frank Schleck (13th, 2:17 back) and his brother Andy (33rd, 6:65). Find complete stage and overall standings here.

Check out stories on previous stages in the race:

Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter for updates on more adventures.

Where’s the crown? Levi hold his lead going into the final day of USA Pro Cycling Challenge

WATCH ONLINE: Catch a live stream of every stage on Shack Tracker. The quality is good and standings are updated dynamically on the page. Watch here starting at noon Mountain time on NBC to see Sunday’s 73-mile ride from Golden to Denver.

Breckenridge — It’s not an instant replay:  Italian Elia Viviani of Team Liquigas-Cannondale was again the winner in Saturday’s stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

The peleton tracked down a heroic breakaway that included Andy Schleck in the final kilometer, leading to Viviani’s second straight win. As a result, the overall standings unchanged, which means Sunday”s ride may well be a victory lap for current leader Levi Leipheimer.

Find complete stage and overall standings here.

And now it’s on to the final stage, a 73-mile stage race from Golden to Denver.

Check out stories on previous stages in the race:

Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter for updates on more adventures.

Levi remains in lead as Viviani wins sprint finish in Steamboat Springs in USA Pro Cycling Challenge

WATCH ONLINE: Catch a live stream of every stage on Shack Tracker. The quality is good and standings are updated dynamically on the page. Watch here starting at 2 p.m. Mountain time to see Saturday’s Stage 5 ride from Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge.

Steamboat Springs — You didn’t think every day of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge was going to be wild, did you?

After seeing someone different in the yellow jersey four of the first five days, Friday’s race from Avon to Steamboat was mostly a group affair, with Italian Elia Viviani of Team Liquigas-Cannondale winning in a sprint finish while all the big names finished with the same time, leaving the overall standings unchanged.

That means Levi Leipheimer will remain in the lead, followed by Christian VandeVelde, Tejay Van Garderen, Tom Danielson  and George Hincapie to round out the top five. Tour de France champion Cadel Evans remained 7th, with Frank Schleck in 13th while brother Andy Schleck, who fell out of the competition after Tuesday’s Stage 2, in 39th.

Find complete stage and overall standings here.

And now it’s on to Stage 5, an 105.2 mile stage race from Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge.

Check out stories on previous stages in the race:

Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter for updates on more adventures.

Levi Leipheimer jumps back into lead with record in Vail time trial at USA Pro Challenge

WATCH ONLINE: Catch a live stream of every stage on Shack Tracker. The quality is good and standings are updated dynamically on the page. Watch here starting at 2 p.m. Mountain time to see Friday’s Stage 4 ride from Avon to Steamboat Springs.

Vail — The second time trial in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge was the reverse of the downhill Prologue, going up Vail Pass. It also reversed the overall standings at the top once again in this highly-competitive race as  Levi Leipheimer set a course record to take back the yellow jersey.

There was one definite similarity to the prologue: an early rider, in this case David Zabriskie of Garmin-Cervelo, put up a time (24:46) that was hard to match, though veteran Jens Voit did come within 3 seconds. Then all bets were off when Colombian rider Rafael Infantio blew away the field with a ride of 25:51.

When the big stars hit the road the times really started to sink fast. First came fifth-place holder Christian VandeVelde, who set a course record in 25:47. But moments later, amazingly, Leipheimer edged him by the scarecest of margins, 58 hundredths, to win the stage and re-take the overall lead, just 11 seconds ahead of VandeVelde. Other top racers:

  • Young Tejay Van Garderen, the overall leader at day’s start, lost almost 52 seconds to Leipheimer and is now third, 17 seconds back.
  • George Hincapie, winner of Wednesday’s Queen Stage and second overall at day’s start, turned in a respectable time and still stands fifth, just 53 seconds back.
  • Pre-race favorite Tom Danielson was third at day’s start and finished the day fourth, 24 seconds back.
  • Frank Schleck who started the day in 12th, had a strong ride of 27:22. And brother Andy Schleck, who had little to race for, still turned in a good ride, just 2:07 off the day’s fastet time.

Find complete stage and overall standings here.

And now it’s off to Avon on Thursday for Stage 4, an 82.8 mile stage race to Steamboat Springs.

Check out stories on previous stages in the race:

Interested in more details about the race? Check out these links:

  • The course: From Prologue to high country, here’s where the race will be contested in Crested Butte, Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs and more. Get maps, elevation gain information and video.
  • Teams: Who’s racing? The entire list of competitors.
Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter for updates on more adventures.

By George, Hincapie gets a popular win in Aspen; Van Garderen takes lead from Leipheimer

WATCH ONLINE: Catch a live stream of every stage on Shack Tracker. The quality is good and standings are updated dynamically on the page. Watch here starting at 12:50 p.m. Mountain time to see Thursday’s time trial in Vail.

ASPEN — The second stage race in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Wednesday featured two brutal climbs, so perhaps it figured that the old warhorse, George Hincapie, would claim the win in a sprint finish in rainy Aspen — as well as second place in the overall standings.

Young Tejay Van Garderen finished with the lead group to claim the overall lead in the race over Hincapie by 16 seconds, while pre-race favorite Tom Danielson leapt from ninth to third, just 22 seconds back.

The leader entering the day, Levi Leipheimer, was among the first to reach the top of the final climb on Independence Pass, but lost time on the descent and now is in fourth place overall (34 seconds back), followed by Christian VandeVelde (:45 back) and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (:51).

Frank Schleck now stands 12th (1:16 back), but brother Andy stumbled badly and is 5:22 back. Find complete stage and overall standings here.

After the race start in Gunnison, a breakaway developed on the way up Cottonwood Pass and maintained a 3+ minute advantage over the peleton as they reached Twin Lakes, the beginning of the long climb up Independence Pass. Riders in the lead group included Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad), Andre Steensen and, perhaps most ominously for the pelotion, two riders from the Colombian team Gobernacion de Antioquia, Rafael Montiel and Alejandro Ramirez. But Leipheimer, forced to respond by the talented young Van Garderen, reeled in the lead group by the top of the telling climb up Independence Pass.

And now it’s off to Vail on Thursday for Stage 3, a 10-mile time trial.

Previous stages in the race:

Interested in more details about the race? Check out these links:

  • The course: From Prologue to high country, here’s where the race will be contested in Crested Butte, Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs and more. Get maps, elevation gain information and video.
  • Teams: Who’s racing? The entire list of competitors.
  • History: This isn’t the first pro cycling race in Colorado. Learn about the Red Zinger Classic and the Coors Classic.
  • The jerseys: See what the leader, top climber and sprinters will be wearing.
Swany Gloves is dedicated to bringing you the best of outdoor adventure. Like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter for updates on more adventures.

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