DENVER, MAY 21, 2019 (PRNEWS) The 2019 Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation will race through four host communities each with a history of staging pro bicycle races — Steamboat Springs, Avon, Golden and Denver — August 22-25, organizers of the race announced today. This is the first time the Colorado Classic, the western hemisphere’s premier women’s standalone, UCI stage race, will be in a different Colorado town or city for each stage of the race.
While the courses have yet to be finalized in each location, it is expected the four-day race will follow iconic Colorado routes featuring tough climbs, spectacular sprints and fan-friendly circuits. All four communities have been part of Colorado’s more than 40-year history of staging world-class pro bicycle racing events.
There will be a Colorado Classic Expo at each host location celebrating cycling, health, fitness, and women’s empowerment with a curated array of exhibitors, events, and food and beverage experiences. More than a race, the Colorado Classic is becoming a movement, helping to create equity in female professional cycling while inspiring and empowering women of all ages to transform the world through sports.
“We have no doubt that our magnificent terrain will notch up the thrills as the Colorado Classic creates cycling history this summer with an all-woman format,” said Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office, a major event sponsor. “We're excited to know that cycling fans around the world will have a chance to see world-class racing in a world-class setting.”
This year’s host communities for the race include:
- August 22 – Steamboat Springs. Located in northwest Colorado and known since 1947 as Ski Town USA, Steamboat Springs (elevation 6,695 feet) will kick off the pro cycling race in classic Colorado style with a route that goes against the rugged Park Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. “The 2019 Colorado Classic starting in Steamboat Springs is a great fit,” said Kara Stoller, CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber. “Our community lives and breathes the race mission every day. Steamboat is home to an incredible amount of female athletes; professional to recreational and from young kiddos to great-grandparents. We look forward to welcoming the professional female riders to Steamboat where I know they will feel right at home.” Stage 1 will be sponsored by Smartwool®, a leading brand within the VF Corporation family.
- August 23 – Avon. Nestled in the Eagle River Valley at the base of Beaver Creek Resort and eight miles west of Vail, Avon (elevation 7,431 feet) will host Stage 2 of the race. Avon is known as the heart of the valley and is a popular gateway for all-season Colorado adventures. “We are thrilled that this world-class, women’s-only race is coming to Avon this summer,” said Avon Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes. “It will surely be a memorable event that will showcase the wonderful sport of pro women cycling, as well as the beauty of our town.” Stage 2 will be sponsored by FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks and the largest locally owned bank in Colorado, focused on “banking for good.”
- August 24 – Golden. The former Gold Rush town located in the foothills close to Denver, Golden (elevation 5,675 feet) will host the third stage of the race. A popular spot for outdoor recreation, Golden is also a charming and historic home to iconic Colorado landmarks including Colorado School of Mines, Lookout Mountain and the largest single-site brewery in the world, Coors. “The City of Golden is honored to be in the Colorado Classic spotlight, shining brightly on Golden’s growing culture of healthy lifestyles, outdoor recreation, and a bicycle-friendly community,” said Karlyn Tilley, Golden’s Communications Manager. “ As a city with a female Mayor and Fire Chief, we are blazing trails of inclusivity and equality, just like the Colorado Classic. We are a perfect match!”
- August 25 – Denver. The Mile High City will host a sensational stage 4 finish for the Colorado Classic for the third time. Fans in Denver (elevation 5,280 feet), will have multiple chances to cheer for riders as they streak through downtown along iconic spots such as LoDo, 17th Street, City Park and Coors Field. Spectators can celebrate the race before, during and after at special events and at a dynamic expo with food, culture, exhibitors and family-focused programs. “We could not be more thrilled that Denver has the privilege of hosting the final stage of the country’s premier women’s cycling race,” said Richard W. Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER. “We are particularly excited that this year’s Colorado Classic will showcase an elite pool of international and local female athletes while putting a global spotlight on Denver and Colorado.” Stage 4 will be sponsored by Gates Corporation, a leading manufacturer of power transmission belts and fluid power products for diverse automotive applications.
Full course routes in each community will be released in late June, including key details for riders and spectators about start/finish locations, mileage, circuit laps, elevation changes, sprints and Queen of the Mountain (QOM) climbs.
“We are excited to announce our four host venues for the 2019 race,” said Lucy Diaz, COO of RPM Events Group, organizer of the Colorado Classic. “These partnerships are paramount in the success of the event to engage the local communities around the racing action and the broader women’s empowerment initiatives. Together with local organizers we will create an engaging and exciting experience while showcasing the local flavors of each community. Attendees can expect to see a dynamic vendor expo, rowdy cheer zones and exciting ancillary events.”
The Colorado Classic earned a 2.1 class designation on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar, making it one of only 13 such races around the world. Because of this 2.1 designation, riders at this year’s Colorado Classic can now earn significant UCI points for Olympic qualification.
USA Cycling has included the Colorado Classic in its Pro Road Tour (PRT), which showcases the premier domestic road calendar events in the U.S., including criteriums, road races, stage races and omniums. The Colorado Classic and USA Cycling also have partnered to form an all-star collegiate team, providing an opportunity for rising stars from the USA Cycling Collegiate Program to compete as members of a USA Cycling national team in the 2019 race.
As a UCI 2.1 and PRT race, the 2019 Colorado Classic, is expected to draw top teams and world-class competitors including WorldTour race winners, Olympians, collegiate champions and up-and-coming stars. Teams will be announced later this month.
This year’s race is committed to sustainability efforts and has been awarded “Certifiably Green” status by the City of Denver. The race will apply the sustainable principles of Certifiably Green Denver to its operations in all of its race host locations.