95MI, 6,562FT | 153KM, 2,000M+ · Monday 26th June
Stage 3 starts out with a nice, gentle rollout, but this stage has its first big challenge roughly 16 miles (26km) in. About 13 miles (21km) into the stage, keep your eyes out for a sign on the left side of the road for Snow Mountain Ranch. Immediately after that sign you will begin a fast descent. At about Mile 16, you’ll take a left turn onto a dirt road. From the turn to the summit of Cottonwood Pass is 5.3 miles (8.5km), with the steepest portion waiting for you in the final two miles. While this climb may be a great place to split the peloton into groups, you better like descending on gravel if you want to stay in the front. The 4-mile (6.4km) descent to Hot Sulphur Springs isn’t technical or that rough, but it can be tricky nonetheless.
If the wind is coming from the east, the next segment of the course will be fast and fun. Westerly winds will mean the exact opposite, because the road from Hot Sulphur Springs to Kremmling is wide and open as you roll through flowing grasslands. What follows is a series of three 2- to 3-mile (3.2 to 4.8km) climbs as you make your way to State Bridge. Once you reach the top of the third climb, about 62 miles (100km) into the stage, use the following descent and valley road to fuel and hydrate. Your next challenge awaits on the other side of the Colorado River.
State Bridge is a beautiful crossing of the Colorado River, and it also marks the start of a 5-mile (5km) climb on the way to Wolcott. When this climb was used in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, Lawson Craddock claimed the Strava KOM with a time of 19:52. So settle in. This one is not going to be quick.
After descending into Wolcott, you’ll face a scenic but challenging false flat as you gradually climb to the finish in Avon. For those of you who are into sprinting for the finish line, this will be a relatively technical finish. With less than a mile to go, you will ride left through a roundabout, cross the Eagle River, take the next left, and then sweep through a right turn and over railroad tracks to line up for the final few hundred meters.
Stage description by CTS
Avon is a vibrant and diverse year-round resort community defined by its spectacular mountain surroundings and unpretentious local character. While its ranching and farming history run deep, Avon has evolved into a mountain resort community with rich cultural offerings and a diverse population of residents and guests. It is a one-of-a-kind place to visit, work, grow a business, raise a family and play in a spectacular outdoor setting.
As the gateway to the world-renowned Beaver Creek Resort, Avon is home to both decorated skiers and tri-athletes. Known for its rich road biking routes, riders can enjoy a diversity of challenging rides through exquisite mountain vistas. The town has been host to numerous competitive bike events and is the annual destination for the largest two-day citizen ride in Colorado. The Eagle Valley Trail, which stretches 63 miles from Vail Pass to Glenwood Canyon, passes through Avon, providing a safe, non-motorized route for pedestrians and bicyclists, and connecting the nearby communities of Eagle-Vail and Edwards. The West Avon Preserve offers 13 miles of single track multi-use trails, rounding out the rider activity offerings in Avon.
Harry A. Nottingham Park and the spectacular Avon Pavilion are prominent gathering centers for both every day enjoyment and major outdoor events. Within the park, guests can enjoy Avon’s wonderful beach and nearby disc golf course, rent a SUP or paddle boat to explore Nottingham Lake, and take advantage of picnic tables and barbecue grills throughout the park. Tennis, basketball, volleyball and pickle ball courts are also available within Nottingham Park. For the adventurous, the Whitewater Park on the Eagle River is just a short walk and offers river features for freestyle kayakers of all levels.
Visitors to Avon will find an energetic, friendly community who is fully engaged in the outdoor environment, riding, running, swimming and hiking. Avon’s deep arts and culture roots have attracted a vibrant artisan community and world-class music acts, resulting in a year-long mountain-town vibe of good times where locals and visitors rub shoulder and share in the festivities.