Dozens of the world's best cyclists will continue racing across the state of Colorado on Thursday.
For Stage 4, riders will race back over Independence Pass to Leadville, then over Tennessee Pass (10,424 feet) to Minturn.
The 97.2-mile stage ends with a stiff 2.5-mile climb that rises almost 1,000 feet to the ski resort of Beaver Creek.
Tom Danielson of Boulder won the third stage on Wednesday, and his Garmin-Sharp teammate Christian Vande Velde took the overall lead in the longest leg of the event.
Friday's ride will bring racers to the Front Range. Stage 5 includes what race officials call a daunting 10-mile climb up Hoosier Pass to 11,500 feet to Fairplay and eventually down to Colorado Springs with a technical uphill run through Garden of the Gods Park.
For Stage 6, riders return to Golden, which hosted one of the races largest crowds during the 2011 race. Day 6's ride takes the cyclists from Golden to Boulder, then on a circle tour of the mountains starting with a 15 mile climb up Boulder Canyon to the town of Nederland, a ride along Peak to Peak Highway to a sprint line in Lyons. Then riders will climb up Left Hand Canyon and Lee Hill Road, back to Boulder. The race will end with a final 3.5 mile climb to the historic Sunrise Amphitheater on Flagstaff Mountain.
The final day is a flat and fast time trial course in downtown Denver.
The 2011 race made $83.5 million in economic impact, according to an analysis by race organizer Medalist Sports.
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