Celebrations mark Thursday’s race to Beaver Creek
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – It won’t take long for the racers to pass by wherever you are Thursday, and road closures and traffic will make getting around tricky much of the afternoon. That’s why Minturn and Beaver Creek are holding any number of events to help spectators pass the time.
What follows is a by-no-means comprehensive look at some of the ways spectators can entertain themselves before and after the cyclists whiz by.
• The Minturn Market, which usually packs the town on Saturdays, will hold a special, smaller event from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
• The Minturn Saloon will start serving lunch, at happy hour prices, at 11 a.m. The Saloon is also the broadcast home for the event.
• Kirby Cosmo’s Barbecue is at the end of the sprint line, the “race within a race” riders will participate in. Kirby’s will have drink and food specials, and a band, the Bluegrass Bandits, will play on the restaurant’s roof. Still no word whether the band will play the Beatles’ “Get Back.”
• The Mountain Pedaler will host a demo day, which will give people a chance to ride some of the bike the pros ride.
• Minturn will hold a concert by The Follow at Little Beach Park starting at 6 p.m.
• Free bike storage will be available at Minturn’s town hall from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The race finish line is near The Osprey hotel, between Gerald R. Ford Hall and the Beaver Creek Chapel.
• A festival in Beaver Creek Village begins at 11 a.m.
• A “Pro Art Challenge” begins at 10:35 a.m. – 10 artists will start new works when riders leave Aspen, and must be finished by the time the first rider crosses the finish line.
• Chromoly will host a bike-building competition between 1 and 2:30 p.m. Some of the best builders around will build the best bike possible from scrap parts.
• The resort is holding an international costume contest for spectators. Awards will be at the Beaver Creek ice rink at 4:30 p.m.
• The day ends with a concert by Chris Duarte at the Beaver Creek ice rink. The show starts at 5 p.m.
There will be no public parking in the resort Thursday, so people are encouraged to bike, hike or take shuttles up to the village. Spectators are encouraged to arrive in Beaver Creek earlier in the day, no later than 1:30 p.m.
Road delays, closures
The Colorado Department of Transportation has released the advisories about road closures and delays during Thursday’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage between Aspen and Beaver Creek.
Here’s a look at planned closures and expected delays:
• Southbound U.S. Highway 24 between Leadville and State Highway 82, 1 – 2 p.m.: Expect 30- to 45-minute delays at various locations along the route.
• Northbound U.S. 24 between Leadville and Interstate 70/Minturn, 1:45 – 3:30 p.m.: Vehicles headed northbound prior to the race reaching the intersection of U.S. 24 and State Highway 91 intersection in Leadville will not be delayed, even as the race continues northbound toward Minturn. Those who head northbound when the race is underway must follow the entire race caravan at speeds of 20 to 25 mph and will not be permitted to pass it. Delays will vary depending on the pace of the riders but will last until the highway is reopened.
• Southbound U.S. 24 between Interstate 70/Minturn and Leadville, 1:45 – 3:30 p.m.: Expect 30- to 60-minute delays at various locations along the race route. Traffic on Battle Mountain and Tennessee Pass may be delayed for up to 30 minutes.
• Eastbound U.S. Highway 6 parallel to I-70 between Avon and Minturn, 2:30 -4 p.m.: Use Exit 167 or 168 (Avon) to avoid race delays. The eastbound I-70 Exit 171 off-ramp will be closed.
• Westbound U.S. Highway 6 between Minturn and Avon, 2:30 – 4 p.m.: Use Exit 167 or 168 (Avon) to avoid race delays. Westbound I-70 Exit 171 and 169 off-ramps will be closed.
• Village Road, the road between Avon and Beaver Creek Village, will be closed between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m.
• The race will also restrict access to several neighborhoods in Eagle-Vail, so be where you need to be by 2:30 p.m. or so.
How can you get around?
ECO Transit passengers should expect route deviations and delays between approximately 2 and 4 p.m. Thursday during Stage 4 of the USA Pro Challenge. The Eagle County portion starts at the top of Tennessee Pass with racers traveling on U.S. Highways 6 and 24 through Minturn and Eagle-Vail on their way to the finish at Beaver Creek. ECO Transit will continue to run all scheduled routes; however, delays of 20 to 45 minutes should be expected and passengers should plan accordingly.
Every stop on U.S. Highway 6 from the Forest Service Park and Ride to Avon Station and the Elk Lot will be affected and delays are expected for both eastbound and westbound buses. Passengers whose stops are closed due to the race will only be permitted to exit once the bus reaches the next open stop. It may be necessary for passengers to catch a bus in the opposite direction to reach their final destination.
For more information on transit schedules, call 970-328-3520, extension 1. For details on the USA Pro Challenge, including spectator information, go to http://www.beavercreek.com.
Avon Transit will suspend its service from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 throughout town.
There will be no public parking in Beaver Creek race day. People are encouraged to park at the resort’s Bear lot or at the rodeo parking lots. Free shuttles will run from the rodeo grounds from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Shuttle service back down the hill will start just after the awards ceremony, sometime around 4:30 p.m.