PRESS RELEASE: The NBC Sports Group will provide live daily coverage of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a seven-day cycling event that features 135 of the world’s top riders. Coverage begins on VERSUS on Monday, August 22, at 4 p.m. ET, with the final stage set to air live on NBC on Sunday, August 28, at 2 p.m. ET. The 500-mile international pro-cycling race will originate from Colorado Springs and is expected to be the largest spectator event in Colorado history. VERSUS will provide live daily HD coverage of the prologue and first five stages of the competition and will air highlights of the stages each night at 11 p.m. ET.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge will have some of the best riders in the sport of cycling participate in this event, including the entire 2011 Tour de France podium with winner Cadel Evans, runner-up Andy Schleck and third overall Frank Schleck. Also participating in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be several of America’s best riders, including America’s top finisher in this year’s Tour De France, Tom Danielson; his Garmin-Cervelo teammate Christian Vande Velde; three-time Amgen Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer of Team Radioshack; HTC Highroad’s Tejay Van Garderen; and BMC Racing Team’s George Hincapie.
PR continued after the break, including TV schedule…
VERSUS will give cycling fans an up-close-and-personal glimpse into the daily lives of their favorite riders with a new 30-minute pre-race show prior to each day’s stage. The documentary-style shows, airing at 3:30 p.m. ET, will offer inside access to what goes on in and around the race. The network will also air a one-hour preview show the day before the race begins on Sunday, August 21, at 3:30 p.m. ET, featuring in-depth profiles of the race’s top riders, including Leipheimer, Evans, Danielson, Vande Velde and Van Garderen.
VERSUS’ telecast of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will incorporate all the elements of the Tour de France production, giving viewers the best cycling coverage possible with features such as: cameras on many of the team’s cars; a pointer feature which will easily identify and focus on one rider in the peloton; exclusive, in-depth profiles and features on teams and riders; and advanced on-screen statistics/biometrics to illustrate the intensity at which the riders are competing.
Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the undisputed voices of cycling, will be on site in Colorado to provide commentary and insight for each day of the network’s coverage, with Bob Roll as the in-race reporter.
NBCSports.com will offer cycling fans up-to-the-minute news throughout the entire competition with daily standings and results, video recaps of each stage, exclusive fan videos and interviews from some of the best riders in the world. The website will also offer information leading into the USA Pro Cycling Challenge next week, including adding the clips from next Sunday’s preview show on VERSUS.
VERSUS and NBC’s live schedule for the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge follows (all times ET, subject to change):
Prologue: Monday, August 22 – Colorado Springs 4 p.m. VERSUS
Stage 1: Tuesday, August 23 – Salida to Crested Butte 4 p.m. VERSUS
Stage 2: Wednesday, August 24 – Gunnison-Aspen 4 p.m. VERSUS
Stage 3: Thursday, August 25 – Vail 4 p.m. VERSUS
Stage 4: Friday, August 26 – Avon to Steamboat Springs 4 p.m. VERSUS
Stage 5: Saturday, August 27 – Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge 4 p.m. VERSUS
Stage 6: Sunday, August 28 – Golden to Denver 2 p.m. NBC
About the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is expected to be the largest spectator event in Colorado history and one of the largest sporting events to ever take place in the United States. For seven consecutive days, 135 of the world’s top athletes will race across 518 miles through the majestic Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they’ve ever had to endure, more than two miles in elevation. It’s the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery, including cities such as Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs.
Referred to as “America’s Race” the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge will take place August 22-28, 2011. With more than one million spectators expected at the event, as well as national television exposure on NBC and VERSUS, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be one of the largest cycling events in United States history.
Spectators of this race will see Olympians, World Champions and Tour de France competitors. Fans worldwide will have access to the competition and riders like never before with the most advanced, interactive online, smartphone and broadcast television experience presented to date in professional cycling.
More information can be found on the website www.USAprocyclingchallenge.com and Twitter page @USAProChallenge.