Moderator: Moderator Team
Without other reasons to be in Estes Park (festival, activities, cookouts, etc), I'm not all that surprised in hindsight the turnout was relatively poor. In my humble opinion, the knowledgeable fans didn't have much reason to catch the racers speed through the little city of Estes Park - all they'd get was a few seconds of racing - when they could catch them at the bottom of the mountain twice a few hours apart (starting and finishing). In hindsight, Estes might be guilty of hoping that "if they build it, they'll come" when they should've been giving people more reasons to come up the canyon.
I expected (and still think) most of the fans "watching in Estes" would line the canyon (Hwy 43) between Drake and Glen Haven and then above Glen Haven at the KOM point. Those fans would've been landlocked for awhile due to the race route cutting off their return down the canyon and back to civilization, so they would have either migrated up the canyon following the racers to Estes OR sat tight in Drake / Glen Haven. Do you know if any of those happened? Maybe very few fans were up the canyon?!
OT: By the way, I rode much of their stage 6 route numerous times this summer. I'm far from a super star on the bike, but it surprisingly wasn't all that tough. The canyon road from Loveland to Drake (Hwy 34) and then Drake to Glen Haven (Hwy 43) makes for a lovely uphill ride, but it's more "roller" than "canyon" with only a handful of short steep bits tossed in. The only really difficult part is the relatively short ~2mi portion just above Glen Haven to the KOM point and I didn't think it was long enough to fracture the field assuming they wanted to stay together. Sprinters are to the USA Pro Challenge as Climbers are to the Tour of Utah.
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