To celebrate the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge locally, a variety of Grand Junction venues will be hosting viewing parties all next week. In its second year, the annual USA Pro Cycling Challenge runs for seven consecutive days and 683 miles - from Aug. 20-26 - with its competitors racing through the Colorado Rockies. It's one of the largest cycling events held in the U.S., and more than 1 million spectators are expected for the race.Local events will be held in conjunction with each stage, with support from the Grand Junction Local Organizing Committee (LOC). The LOC formed in September 2010 to secure a GJ stage in the USA Pro Challenge cycling race."This is a way the community can come together to celebrate the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, even though we don't have a stage yet," said Mistalynn Meyeraan, an LOC member and a Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau staffer.Everyone's invited - all local cycling enthusiasts, representatives from the LOC, and members of the Colorado Mesa University cycling team.LOC member Wendy Weinberg said televised viewing parties started in 2011 to promote excitement and awareness for the race. And last year, more than 300 people participated. Weinberg said she hopes even more people come out to enjoy the parties this year.Viewing parties will also include food and drink specials, door prizes and educational commentary by CMU cycling team members. For more information about bringing a Pro Challenge stage to GJ, visit www.facebook.com/USAProChallengeGJ.
DATE LOCATION ROUTEMonday, Aug. 20 Rockslide Brewery Durango to TellurideTuesday, Aug. 21 Kannah Creek Brewery Montrose to Crested ButteWednesday, Aug. 22 Boston's Restaurant Gunnison to AspenThursday, Aug. 23 Mesa Theater and Lounge Aspen to Beaver CreekFriday, Aug. 24 Hot Tomato Caf, Fruita Breckenridge to Colo. SpringsSaturday, Aug. 25 Ale House Golden to BoulderSunday, Aug. 26 DoubleTree by Hilton Denver Time Trial & Finish