USA Pro Challenge riders are getting a break from major climbing with a circuit race around Colorado Springs.
The cyclists are doing four laps around a 16-mile course, which includes the Garden of the Gods, in Thursday's stage. They still face a nearly 17 percent grade as they climb Ridge Road.
Defending champion Tejay van Garderen is wearing the yellow jersey and leads Rafal Majka by 20 seconds after a thrilling win on Monarch Mountain Wednesday.
Alex Howes of Boulder had been the overall leader. He finished the stage in 18th and is 1:45 behind van Garderen, who lives in Aspen.