Fort Collins is a city nestled in the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. It is home to Colorado State University and has been dubbed the "Choice City" for the number of "best of" lists it tops. It offers a thriving arts and music scene, eclectic shops and restaurants, hundreds of miles of walking and biking paths, a growing progressive green and tech business base, world-class beer, and access to abundant outdoor pursuits. Downtown Fort Collins is the ideal destination for exploring fine and folk art, craft breweries, independent restaurants and distinctive shops, and festivals and live performances in a lively urban environment. In close proximity to Denver, Fort Collins is known for its value and affordability, providing a perfect jumping off point for exploration.
Abundant outdoor adventure heavily factors into Fort Collins' reputation as a top destination - both for visitors and those looking for a new hometown. The city boasts 50 parks, 280-plus miles of trails - including paved and unpaved walking and bike trails, four recreation centers and swimming pools, three public golf courses and a racquet sports complex, two sheets of ice for hockey and free skating, and skateboard and dog parks. Add in Horsetooth Reservoir, the Poudre Canyon and acres of Natural Areas, National Forest and surrounding National Park lands and let abundance inspire adventure.
Cycling opportunities prevail in and around Fort Collins and getting to know the area atop two wheels offers a bounty of benefits. Road cyclists will appreciate the 280-plus miles of relatively flat, wide bike lanes, trails and paths. Mountain bikers have many options minutes from downtown, and more just a bit further into the surrounding backcountry. Lory State Park, Horsetooth Mountain Park and Red Mountain Open Space offer abundance and intrigue. Lory State Park also features Colorado's first officially state-sponsored dirt/pump track: The Corral Center Mountain Bike Park.
Since spring of 2008, the Fort Collins Bike Library in Old Town loans bicycles to visitors and residents. Loans are available for up to seven days with an annual membership of $10.
Fort Collins received a Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly designation from the Community League of American Bicyclists in May 2013. The city also leads the U.S. in the number of bike-friendly businesses, as recognized by the same organization; Fort Collins boasts a total of 39 bike-friendly companies.
Most people know Fort Collins as the home of Colorado State University (CSU), a Mecca for beer enthusiasts and the jumping off point for outdoor adventure in the northernmost part of the state. What many people don't know is that Fort Collins is also a craft culture hub. This unassumingly hip Northern Colorado college town is home to entrepreneurs and craftspeople at the top of their trade, including craft brewers, third wave coffee shops, bike manufacturers, homegrown bands, food fanatics and fine artists.
Fort Collins boasts an alter ego born from its college town roots and its reputation as the "Choice City," topping a bevy of "best of" lists, for everything from retirement to riding a bike. Colorado State University (CSU) innovations and innovators fuel the town's tech trade and new tech start-ups are drawn to the Northern Colorado capitol like bees to the flower.
Start time: 11:35am - Estimated finish time: 2:45pm
A gentle roll-out through Loveland will let the women riders settle in before this day of racing turns extremely competitive. Once west of Loveland things tilt up and keep climbing for nearly 20 miles as everyone tests their legs on the climb of Buckhorn Canyon. But if the climbers want to win this day they will need to hold off a charging field as the stage furiously descends Rist Canyon and the 18 miles back into Fort Collins. Can the climbers hold off the sprinters or will Fort Collins be treated to a mass field sprint by some of the fastest women in the U.S.?
Start time: 11:45 am - Estimated finish: 3:45 pm
The start and finish location of Stage 6 may be familiar, but what lies between the two is new and challenging.
The early flats and sprints in Windsor and Loveland hide the wicked side of the route that waits in the second half. It may not have the grand names or the huge elevation numbers, but the lower and smaller climbs of this stage still have a serious sting. Climbing the north side of Carter Lake and then onto the new climb up Buckhorn Canyon and down Rist Canyon should get everyone's attention. It may also present one of the last chances for overall contenders to make a move. Wrapping up with the jagged rollers of Horsetooth Reservoir before bombing into Ft. Collins, this stage proves that a race doesn't need to reach 12,000' to be epic.