With the return of a pro cycling tour in Colorado, the month of August now holds a special place in my heart. I’ve long been a cycling fan, but it’s one thing to watch riders climb the Pyrenees in France at 4am in the morning halfway around the world and another thing entirely to watch the world’s best from 5 feet away.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge Vail Time Trial Lexus RC Couple (1 of 1)

Luxury automaker, Lexus, signed a two-year deal to become the official vehicle of theUSA Pro Challenge through 2015, besides furnishing the plethora of race marshall and follow vehicles, Lexus handed the overall race winner, Tejay van Garderen a local favorite, the keys to a CT 200h hybrid.

“Partnering with one of the largest races in the country seemed like a natural opportunity since Lexus and cycling share common traits,” said Brian Smith, Lexus Vice President of Marketing. “We have a passion for cutting-edge design, technology, performance and efficiency that helps us create innovative luxury vehicles like the all-new Lexus NX 200t. These same intense characteristics in a cyclist and their race bike are the foundation for a win.”

USA Pro Cycling Challenge Vail Time Trial (1 of 1)

What has quickly grown into one of the biggest races in the United States, the USA Pro Challenge took place August 18-24, and traveled 550 miles from Aspen to Denver. I headed out to Vail to enjoy Stage 6, a short but brutal time trial that started in the heart of vail at 8150 ft. above sea level and finished 10 miles up the road at 9663 ft.. Tejay van Garderen beasted his way up the road to set a new course record, his average mile per hour speed was an absolute mind twisting 24.5 mph on the course. Makes me a bit light headed just thinking about it. The Vail TT was also a great opportunity to say goodbye to Jens Voigt, a cyclist I’ve been following closely since I was about 11 years old.