Pro cyclists in the inaugural Colorado Classic men’s race will cover 313 miles (503.5 km) and endure more than 20,000 feet of intense, high-altitude climbing in four stages that showcase the state’s incredible terrain and enhance viewing and entertainment options for fans, race organizers announced today.
The Colorado Classic race routes will test the field and create new and unique experiences for spectators over the race’s four-day run, August 10-13. Courses start and finish from the same location — as opposed to point-to-point races — and stages 1, 2 and 4 are “circuits” featuring multiple laps on challenging courses. As such, the Colorado Classic promises repeated opportunities for fans to see the riders up close over the course of the event.
“Each course will give fans numerous opportunities in a single day to see the sport’s top riders,” said David Koff, CEO of RPM Events Group, the organization formed to put on the race. “And the start-finish areas are being built to be magnets of activity before, during, and after each race. Our goal is to have you come out for one experience, and to stick around for many, many more.”
The Colorado Classic is sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and designated as a 2.HC race, which is the highest category outside of World Tour races.
Stage one will cover a total of 93.5 miles (150.4 km) as riders push the pace for six laps on a 15.58-mile (25.1 km) course in the shadow of Pikes Peak, running between downtown Colorado Springs and the sandstone formations of the city’s iconic Garden of the Gods. Links: Stage 1 Map | Stage 1 Elevation Profile
Stage two will be a test of endurance and willpower over 64 miles (103 km) in the scenic mining town of Breckenridge. During 10 laps on the 6.4-mile (10.3 km) course, riders will face more than 7,000 feet of climbing, including multiple, leg-crushing runs up the notorious Moonstone climb — and the subsequent thrilling descents down Illinois Gulch. Links: Stage 2 Map | Stage 2 Elevation Profile
The action moves to Denver for the stages 3 and 4 of the men’s race, as the Colorado Classic anchors the first-ever Velorama Festival: a 3-day bike, music, and craft festival in the city’s RiNo Art District. From August 11-13, Velorama will feature musical acts; some of the world’s best cyclists competing in the final two stages of the Colorado Classic; and hundreds of vendors in a festival marketplace that includes a Bike and Lifestyle Expo and is anchored by the Denver Flea and the independent craft makers of beer, cider and wine in the Drink RiNo group.
Stage three will be contested on an 81-mile (130 km) out-and-back course that runs from the RiNo race hub to the mountains west of Denver on the Peak to Peak Highway, and then returns to the Mile High City through scenic Golden Gate Canyon State Park and via what is expected to be a finishing sprint through the streets of Denver, with speeds approaching 60 mph. Among the day’s highlights will be race action on Gap Road in the foothills west of Denver. On that stretch, riders will face the toughest part of the course, or King of the Mountain (KOM) section, and dirt roads with steep, rolling hills. Links: Stage 3 Map | Stage 3 Elevation Profile
Stage four will once again highlight the start-and-finish area within the Velorama Festival grounds and send riders on a 7.5-mile (12km) city circuit that stretches from RiNo to City Park and back. Riders will do 10 laps in the final stage, for a total of 74.6 miles (120.1 km) on what is expected to be a thrilling, intense, and colorful final day of racing. Links: Stage 4 Map | Stage 4 Elevation Profile
The four-day race will be televised on NBCSN and live streamed on NBC Sports Gold — NBC Sports Digital’s live streaming direct-to-consumer subscription app. Paul Sherwen will call the action, joined by analyst Christian Vande Velde and reporter Bob Roll.
The two stages of the women’s Colorado Classic will be conducted on similar courses to stages 1 & 2 of the men’s course.
Stage one of the women’s race will cover 38.36 miles (61.7 km) over multiple laps in Colorado Springs, and will send a field of the best women cyclists through the Garden of the Gods. Links: Stage 1 Women’s Map | Stage 1 Women’s Elevation Profile
The second and final stage will cover 32 miles (51.5 km) over five laps on the Breckenridge course, with riders conquering Moonstone hill over and over again. Links: Stage 2 Women’s Map | Stage 2 Women’s Elevation Profile
The Denver start-finish area is within the ticketed Velorama Festival grounds and will provide incredible vantage points for catching the race action. Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Old 97’s and the Jayhawks will headline three rockin’ days of music with tickets, which also provide access to the race start-finish line and the festival marketplace, available online at VeloramaColorado.com.
No admission is being charged to the start-finish areas in Colorado Springs and Breckenridge, and cycling fans will find countless areas to cheer on racers for free from alongside the courses in all four stages. For additional information, visit: ColoradoClassic.com