Watch "America's Race" in Real Time
While the Vuelta a España caps off cycling's Grand Tour season across the pond, some of the best under-the-radar racing on the planet is happening out in Colorado in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Called "America's Race" by organizers, the Pro Cycling Challenge had a fireworks-filled debut last year, as some of the world's top riders—including the top three finishers from the 2011 Tour de France—duked it out high up (at altitudes of 12,000-plus feet) in the Rockies. Cadel Evans attacked and the Schlecks put in a solid effort, but the Americans proved unbeatable, sweeping the podium with the 1-2-3 finishes of veterans Levi Leipheimer and Christian Vande Velde and rising star Tejay van Garderen.
This year, it's already underway with an equally impressive field—Vincenzo Nibali, Andreas Kloden, Ivan Basso and Jens Voigt are among the big names joining Evans in pursuit of the Americans. Between yesterday (Aug. 20) and Sunday (Aug. 26), 117 riders will pedal 683 miles over nine mountain passes, including a sum total of 42,000 feet of climbing. Garmin-Sharp's Tyler Farrar took stage 1 in a dramatic—and dominating—sprint finish, his first in over a year. It's edge-of-your-seat racing and, unlike the Grand Tours, you can see every last minute of it live. There's no break-of-dawn web surfing, obscure French-language streams or live blog following required in this case. It's all streamed online by the RadioShack Tour Tracker, and announced by Velo's Neal Rogers and Brian Holcombe. See the drama unfold, right now.