Organizers of the women’s-only Colorado Classic cycling race unveiled this summer’s four host cities Monday at the state Capitol in Denver. As expected, Colorado Springs will not be part of the route.
Snowmass Village, Avon, Boulder and Denver make up the stops for the Aug. 27-30 event, billed as the premier women’s road race in the Western Hemisphere.
“We are thrilled to have such a strong lineup of communities for the 2020 event,” Lucy Diaz, CEO of race organizer RPM Events Group, said in a news release. “Each market offers a notable connection to pro cycling, an ideal landscape for competitive racing and a strong commitment to bringing unique and engaging events to their community.
“Each partner also aligns with our mission to advance women in sports.”
The Colorado Classic made headlines in December 2018 when RPM Events Group announced it would drop the men’s race in favor of giving top billing to some of the world’s best female cyclists. Both men and women had been featured the previous two summers, with the Springs serving as a host site for both races in 2017.
Last summer’s foray into a women’s-only model proved successful, not only in terms of exposure and opportunities for female cyclists but also in innovative ways to stream the action around the world at a relatively low cost.
Olympic silver medalist Chloe Dygert dominated all four stages in Colorado, winning easily in Steamboat Springs, Avon, Golden and Denver. The American has shown no signs of slowing since, having claimed a gold medal at the road cycling world championships in September and two more (one in team pursuit) last month at the track cycling world championships. Barring injury, she will be among the favorites for gold this summer at the Tokyo Games.
Stage 1 of the 2020 Colorado Classic comes less than a month after the Olympics. While specific routes have yet to be finalized, the course in Snowmass Village just outside of Aspen will offer a rude welcome to riders as organizers promise a pair of tough climbs and 10 miles on gravel.
Avon again will play host to Stage 2. The route through the Vail Valley will include two distinct types of racing: a criterium with multiple fast laps followed by a challenging ascent and technical descent to the finish.
The third stage brings professional road cycling back to Boulder for the first time since 2014, when the final stage of the now-defunct USA Pro Challenge started there. Cyclists will have to maneuver through nearly 10 miles on gravel in addition to a steep climb.
Denver has played host to the final stage of every Colorado Classic and this year will be no different. One thing that will change, however, is the start/finish line. In the past three years, the epicenter of the finale has been the LoDo and RiNo neighborhoods surrounding Coors Field. This summer’s route will start at Civic Center Park and roll past the state Capitol — a nod to the Pro Challenge, which finished there from 2011 to 2015.
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