The Pole


Ear to the ground

“It’s amazing how much colder the water is when you’re sober.”
– An Animas River tuber after tackling the local waterway without the benefit of additional hydration

Tour de Gunnison County
The “most grueling bike race in American history” is coming to a starting line near you. The inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge takes off Aug. 22, and though Durango is not on the route, the road race will swoop as far south as Crested Butte and Gunnison.

The 500-mile race promises to bring world-class racing and top riders to the Colorado Rockies. Lining up for the prologue Aug. 22 will be five former and current world champions; five current national champions; and nine 2011 major race champions, including Tour de France winner Cadel Evans and runners-up Andy and Frank Schleck.

The CB stages promise to be among the race’s most daunting (and just happen to be the race’s closest brushes with Durango). On Aug. 23, Stage 1 will roll out of Salida at 11:45 a.m. and set out on a 102-mile push to Mt. Crested Butte. Racers will crest Monarch Pass (gaining 3,250 feet in 13 miles) before descending into Gunnison and rolling up the two-laner into downtown Crested Butte. Following a sprint along the Butte’s main drag, racers will climb to the finish line in Mt. Crested Butte (the race’s only mountaintop finish). Crested Butte is pulling out all of the stops for the affair and will have a pair of beer gardens, a “Taste of the Town” street party, townie and handcycling crits, finish-line fireworks, a giant vendor expo and a kid zone.

The next morning, cycling fans can wake up and do it all over again. Stage 2 takes riders up 12,126-foot Cottonwood Pass (the race’s high point) on an unpaved road riddled with washboard (skinny tires + dirt = cycling carnage) before descending into Buena Vista and tackling Independence Pass.

After the literal dust settles on the second stage, Durangoans can return home and throw their weight behind the effort to bring the race to the San Juan Mountains next year. For more information, visit

Market values
Jerry Seinfeld seems to be leading a glitterati exodus from nearby Telluride. The noted actor/comedian listed his palatial home two weeks ago for $18.3 million. Now, several other recognizable names are looking for greener pastures.

Roxanne Pulitzer, former wife of newspaper magnate Herbert Pulitzer (yes, that Pulitzer) is also cashing in her Telluride status. The former Playboy

Bunny and her fifth husband have listed the “Highline Estate,” a 23,124-square-foot mansion in the Mountain Village, for $19.9 million.
“Too many of the houses here are the same,” Pulitzer told the Wall Street Journal. “You stumble home drunk and you don’t know whose house you’re in.”