The second edition of the Colorado Classic will feature high-altitude circuits, time trials, and plenty of climbing over four days of racing. Race organisers have confirmed the route of both the men’s and women’s events, which will take place between August 16-19.
The Colorado Classic put on its inaugural event last season, with Manuel Senni (BMC Racing) winning the men’s race and Rally Cycling’s Sara Poidevin taking the women’s. This year’s men’s race will total 395 kilometres of racing with over 4,700 metres of climbing, while the newly extended women’s race will consist of 128 kilometres over the four stages and 1,468 metres of ascent.
The racing will begin in earnest with the short and punchy opening circuit stage taking place at altitude in Vail Village, at well over 2,000 metres above sea level. They will start at a high elevation and go even higher as the 14.2-kilometre circuit takes in the dirt climb of Mill Creek Road. On top of the climbing, it is a twisting and technical route that will throw the peloton in at the deep end. The men’s peloton will contest eight laps, while the women will do four.
Day two keeps the riders in Vail and brings back the time trial route that has featured in both the USA Pro Challenge and the Coors Classic. Past winners on the course include Tejay van Garderen and Bernard Hinault. It is just under 10 kilometres long but climbs 479 metres from Solaris to near the top of the Vail Pass.
Following the opening two stages in Vail, the race makes its way to Denver and the RiNo Art District for stage 3. Once again, the race will link up with the Velorama music festival, with the Queen stage heading out of town before finishing at Velorama. The 161.9-kilometre men’s stage will take the riders west over Lookout Mountain, through the Red Rocks Park, and onto the climb of Cragmont Drive. A third and final climb at Indian Hills brings the altitude gain to almost 2,500 metres.
The women’s peloton will not head into the mountains but remain in Denver for 50 minutes, plus five laps, around the Velorama festival.
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