Colorado Classic to revive Pro Cycling in Colorado
The August 10-13, 2017 race formally listed as, "The Tour of Colorado" is now known as the, "Colorado Classic"
The Aug. 10-13 stage race — with pro cycling’s highest profile teams, a two-day women’s race, public riding events, live music and a rolling festival — will blend the best elements of Colorado’s lost Red Zinger Bicycle Classic, the Coors Classic and the USA Pro Challenge.
U.S. Domestic and International teams will race through Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Denver this summer.
“Sustainability is the goal here,” said David Koff, the chief of RPM Events Group, an investment team that includes Denver’s Gart family and local philanthropist Ben Walton, grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton.
Details are still to be confirmed but the race will attempt to blend urban criterium circuits of the long-gone Red Zinger and Coors Classic with the USA Pro Challenge’s television-friendly format, the race will travel through iconic parts of Colorado’s countryside.
It's likely that the race will contain four stages, consisting of 18 teams racing criteriums and stages that start and finish in the same towns to make it more economical and audienece friendly. The women's race starts August 10th in Colorado Sprint and finish the next day in Denver. Then men's race will start August 11th in Colorado before moving onto a second stage in Breckenridge and the third and fourth stages in Denver.
The UCI has designated the Colorado Classic a 2.HC rating, the highest outside of the WorldTour.
The Colorado Classic joins the list of highest profile U.S. professional races including the Amgen Tour of California (May 14-21), the Tour of Utah (July 31-Aug. 6) and RPM Events’ inaugural Tour of the Commonwealth in Virginia (Aug. 24-27).
Koff said. “We have focused on all elements on the cost side to try to make this more sustainable.”
It is expected that RPM will announce amateur events that coincide with the elite race, possibly a Gran Fondo.
“We think that’s an exciting way to help connect pro cycling with your average daily cyclist,” Koff said. “It fits with our investors’ approach. We view this as a large-scale community event with participation being a major part of that.”
RPM Events are looking to secure television coverage of the race which is aimed at raising the profile of Colorado as an international travel destination.
The original Pro Race lost nearly $10 million in its first year. Sponsors of the likes of Lexus, UnitedHealthcare and Pepsi supported the race which is believed to have attracted 1 million spectators and turned over and estimated $130 million for the local economy.
“I can’t wait to once again show off this wonderful state to the world during the Colorado Classic,” Gart said in a press statement.