USA Pro Challenge Begins with Emotional Win

Isn't August great? We've barely recovered from Tour of Utah and now the USA Pro Challenge (aka Tour of Colorado) started today in Steamboat Springs. We attended the race in 2011 for Stage 4 & 5 in Steamboat and had a great time. We've wanted to return and this year with a formal women's race the last three stages, it's been on the radar. Although with work travel, weekend plans, and injuries; it doesn't make sense. As it's only Monday and the women race Friday, I won't say it's a definite no but not very likely.

We both worked at home today and followed the race on our own devices.
1. Tour Tracker for live updates and video during the race
2. Twitter #ProChallenge
3. Podcast EndureEnjoy - featuring Dave Towle who I was honored to work with during the Tour of Utah Women's Edition

Once the women start racing on Friday, I'll post additional resources as I find them. For now, I've created a twitter list with riders and teams. The website also outlines the women's teams, stages, and competition jerseys. Every time I look, I get the urge to check flights to Denver for the weekend. Maybe my flight home from this week's work trip will get diverted.

Back to today and the emotional win. If you haven't heard already, Taylor Phinney won with a very powerful sprint. There are so many great things about his win, which you can read in all the cycling reports. This includes his 1st win since his possible career ending injury, he won in his home state, his famous athlete parents (Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter) were there for the victory, he pulled himself back into the field after losing time on the last climb just like his Dad used to do, and the entire BMC Management Team was in Steamboat. I think the only way the win could have been better is if Stage 1 was in his hometown of Boulder instead of Steamboat Springs. As many commented on twitter, the win actually brought tears of joy. I have to agree, I was incredibly happy for all of the above reasons but also because of Taylor's connection to Park City.

Taylor has been coming back from injury for over a year and his first comeback race was the Tour of Utah. We were all thrilled to see him in action and end up with the Fan Favorite Jersey! Taylor and many pro cyclists associate Park City with injury and recovery. We have some of the best doctors in the world here, including BMC Cycling Team physicians Max Testa and Eric Heiden. We are fortunate to know them and their teams and be able to work with them when we are injured. They truly are amazing and have a way of healing that isn't just technical but includes plenty of mental. I can easily see why they are so successful with professional athletes.

Taylor has been in and out of Park City for rehab and training rides for years. We feel like BMC Cycling is a local team and often see the red and black kits on our favorite routes. Just last Tuesday, we spent the evening with the team at a local fundraiser and talked about their Tour of Utah success and plans for USA Pro Challenge. I love all the pro teams, but there is something special about BMC since we see them so often and are close to those that help keep them comfortable and fed when they are in town.

As Brent Bookwalter led Taylor out and he crossed the finish line bursting with emotion, I was overcome with joy and pride for all my Park City friends that were a huge part of this win. To make the podium even sweeter, Brent came in 3rd continuing his excellent form from Tour of Utah. Terry and I spent time talking with Brent last week and he is one of the best in the peloton. Tonight, as the BMC Cycling Team celebrates in Colorado around the dinner table and in hotel rooms, we are also celebrating in Park City for our adopted pro team!