The USA Pro Challenge finished up in Denver on Sunday. After a week crossing Colorado, competitors in the international bike race made several laps in the heart of Denver. In the end though, it was a far different finish than a year ago.
It was a moment three years in the making. After two near misses, pro cyclist Tejay van Garderen finally clinched the yellow winner’s jersey.
All week, the USA Pro Challenge has flashed across TV, computer, and mobile screens… thanks to a film crew on motorcycles. Now we bring you what it’s like to be, literally, in the middle of the peloton. On Stage 2 of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher rode in a team car with the Champion System pro cycling team.
Less than a decade ago, an oil and gas boom in Colorado started to fire up... and with it came strong opinions on all sides. One of the first major controversies was over the Roan Plateau, a sweeping mesa in Garfield County. The discord centered on a Congressional mandate to drill-- and worries that doing so would destroy world class hunting and fishing, and the local economy. Colorado’s governor and two senators weighed in, and the Rifle area was featured in the documentary GasLand.
Oil and gas activists peppered Governor John Hickenlooper with questions this weekend. At first they protested outside the St. Regis hotel, hoping to catch Hickenlooper and other democratic governors in a conference. When Colorado’s governor didn’t come out to talk, demonstrators followed him to the Aspen Institute... where Hickenlooper appeared to get flustered after a barrage of questions.
In less than a week, Colorado will have two new gun laws. The first expands background checks, the other bans magazines holding more than fifteen rounds… that is, unless they’re legally purchased before July 1st. The laws are part of a group passed by state lawmakers this year…regulations that lawyers and law enforcement officials have described as confusing... and even unenforceable.