The final stage of the men's 2015 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will start in Golden, climb Lookout Mountain, and pass through Golden again on the way to the finish line in Denver. The final stage of the women's race will be a criterium, entirely in downtown Golden.

Golden hosts both Men and Women Final Stages

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge returns to Golden on August 23, 2015. The day will begin with the third and final stage of the inaugural Women's Pro Challenge Race at 10:30 am, followed by the start of the final stage of the 7-stage men's race at 1:10 pm.

The final stage of the men's race will follow essentially the same route as the final stage in the first Pro Challenge in 2011. From the Howdy Sign on Washington Avenue in downtown Golden, riders will make a short loop north of Golden, then up Lookout Mountain where racers will get their first glimpse of the finish line 20 miles away in Denver. But first, they'll glide back down the south side of Lookout Mountain for another dash through Golden, before heading east through Wheat Ridge and Lakewood and on to the Capitol.

In the women's criterium, racers will travel a tight loop from the starting line on Washington Avenue, south to 18th street, onto Illinois Street, then through the Colorado School of Mines campus, left on Arapahoe Street, onto 11th and back to the starting line, a total distance of 1.3 miles. The racers will repeat the loop for an hour, trying to avoid elimination by being lapped by the leader. Then the remaining racers will sprint for three laps to determine the winner.

In the first USA Pro Cycling Challenge in 2011 Golden hosted what world class professional riders described as the largest final stage start in their bicycling careers, bar none including the Tour de France, according to race chief executive Shawn Hunter. Expect an even larger crowd this year, as spectators throng into town for the women's race. In 2012 Golden again hosted a stage start, this time from Golden to a stage finish on Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder. The race skipped Golden in 2013, but passed through town twice on the final day in 2014.

A jumbotron will be erected in Parfet Park (10th and Washington, across from the Golden Visitors Center), so spectators can follow the racers as they leave and return to town. There will be food trucks, exhibits and a beer garden in the park from 9 am - 4 pm.

In its five-year history, the USA Pro Challenge has come to be known as "America's Race," and you can expect to see some of the world's elite Tour de France cyclists in 2015. Parking in Golden will be at a premium, with restrictions along the race route and limited street access to downtown parking garages. Walking or biking into downtown Golden is recommended, and a self-park bike corral will be set up at the the municipal tennis courts at 10th and Illinois Streets. Visitors from Denver can take their bikes on the the RTD west line light rail to Government Center in Golden, and ride easily from there into Golden.

Leading up to the final stage from Golden to Denver, seven other venues spread across the Colorado Rocky Mountains will host stage starts and finishes starting with a circuit race in Steamboat Springs on August 17, a stage from Steamboat Springs to Arapahoe Basin on the 18th, a stage from Copper Mountain Resort to Aspen on the 19th, Aspen to Breckenridge on the 20th, time trials in Breckenridge on the 21st, and a leg from Loveland to Fort Collins on the 22nd. The women will run individual time trials in Breckenridge on August 21st, 2015, and a stage from Loveland to Fort Collins on the 22nd.