43,5MI, 4,593FT | 70KM, 1,400M+ · Friday 30th June
The circuit for Stage 7 of the Mavic Haute Route Rockies will take you on a tour of many of the best roads and views in Colorado Springs.
First, you’re going to start and finish in Garden of the Gods, a striking geological structure dating back to the origin of the Rocky Mountains. From there you’ll climb through the switchbacks of 26th Street. Remember them, you’ll be descending through them later in the stage. The 26th Street/Gold Camp Road climb will be the longest climb of the day at about 7 miles (11km) total. The hardest part is the first two miles (3.2km). After that the grade is pretty gentle. The final 2.4 miles (3.8km) are on gravel, following an old railroad grade from the area’s gold mining heyday. This section also includes two tunnels blasted through the granite canyon walls.
When the gravel gives way to pavement at the top of North Cheyenne Canon, get ready for a fun and narrow 3.1-mile (5km) descent. The road you’re descending has long been used by USA Cycling as a climbing test for aspiring champions.
After descending from Cheyenne Canon, Stage 7 will take you back uphill to circumnavigate the world-famous Broadmoor Hotel and Resort. In doing so you will climb until you almost reach the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the highest zoo in the United States.
Stage 7 will take you by the Broadmoor Golf Course and through the resort itself before turning on Cresta Road to head back north. After some rolling hills you will get the chance to descend through the 26th Street switchbacks you climbed earlier in the day, and then climb up Mesa Road. If you have a chance, look to your left as you reach the top of Mesa Road for perhaps the best view of Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak in the background.
Following a very quick descent from the top of Mesa Road you will start the out-and-back section of Stage 7. The main challenge of this section is climbing Flying W Ranch Road in both directions. The south side is not terrible, but after completing the turnaround on Centennial Road and returning to Flying W you have to go up the north side, which is terrible. The only saving grace of having to climb the north side of Flying W Ranch Road is the fact it is the last substantial climb of the entire 2017 Mavic Haute Route Rockies. With the exception of one small rise, it’s a downhill cruise to the finish in Garden of the Gods.
Stage description by CTS
Welcome to Colorado Springs, home of the United States Olympic Committee Headquarters, 24 National Governing Bodies of Sport and 59 national and international sports organizations that truly define Colorado Springs as Olympic City, USA!
Colorado Springs is home to some of the most beautiful mountain landscape in America, with commanding views of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and massive networks of trails and parks, it is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. With over 120 miles of paved urban trails and over 60 miles of mountain biking trails, Colorado Springs is truly a destination for cycling events and enthusiasts. In addition to the scenic views, the Springs is home to several elite educational institutions such as Colorado College and University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and five military bases, including the United States Air Force Academy. Colorado Springs bursts with a vibrant arts and culture scene, downtown shopping and dining hub and many local attractions for natives and visitors to enjoy year round Pikes Peak, featuring the stunning Rocky Mountains as the backdrop.