The 2019 Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation (August 22-25) has released its most challenging course yet with a mix of tough mountain and swift urban circuit routes through Steamboat Springs, Avon, Golden, and Denver, organizers of the race announced Friday.
The circuit routes for the women’s-only pro road race will have something for every racer and fan, with high-altitude QOMs, breakneck sprints, six-miles of gravel, tight technical street racing and one of the most treacherous climbs in Colorado. The course will cover a total of 220 miles (354kms) with 13,667 feet (4,166m) of climbing while showcasing Colorado’s iconic terrain.
There will be a free Colorado Classic Expo near each host’s Start/Finish celebrating cycling, health, fitness, and women’s empowerment with a curated array of exhibitors, events, and food and beverage experiences.
“This will be, by far, the most challenging course we’ve had for the women’s Colorado Classic and this year’s route provides something for everyone,” said Sean Petty, Colorado Classic Race Director. “The courses offer two incredible days in the mountains, starting with over 4,000 feet of climbing in Steamboat Springs and a brutal climb will be featured before the finale on Stage 2 in Avon. And, we’ll have opportunities for the sprinters in Stages 3 and 4 in Golden and Denver.”
2019 Colorado Classic Routes
Stage 1 presented by Smartwool begins in northwest Colorado at Steamboat Springs on August 22 with riders tackling high-altitude climbing, six miles of exciting gravel and technical descents. Stage 2 presented by FirstBank moves to Avon with seven exciting laps around town and then an extra lap with a brutal ascent up the infamous Daybreak Ridge in Beaver Creek. This high-altitude climb will be the decisive moment of the Queen Stage, as the field fights to the top before bombing back to town on a technical descent through Bachelor Gulch. Stage 3 through Golden will feature three sprints and seven swift laps of a nine-mile circuit including a mini-QOM up Washington St. and a start/finish under the iconic Golden arch. The Colorado Classic concludes on August 25 with Stage 4 presented by Gates Corporation, which features eight laps of a technical and dynamic circuit, starting and finishing in front of Coors Field in Downtown Denver and going through the perennially fan-friendly 17th Avenue and City Park.
Now in its third year, the Colorado Classic has attracted 16 world-class teams with 96 riders, representing its most international and competitive field yet with five international and four top-20 UCI women’s elite teams. The top-four domestic teams in USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour rankings also will be coming to the race. Racers include WorldTour race winners, Olympians, previous Colorado Classic podium winners, collegiate champions and up-and-coming stars.
The standalone women’s stage race is on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar as a 2.1 race and is a USA Cycling Pro Road Tour race.
Stage 1 – Steamboat Springs presented by Smartwool – August 22
There will be no gentle opening for the 2019 Colorado Classic. With 2 QOMs, countless smaller hills, 6mi/10km of treacherous gravel, a sprint down Oak Creek and a few technical descents, this will be a rude awakening for many racers. The Steamboat Springs course shapes up as a grab bag that anyone can win. Can a climber get away on the short punch hills and hold an advantage? Can a sprinter hang on over the hills for a crack at the line? Or will a dirt specialist surprise everyone? Stage 1 of the race will have a start/finish at the Meadows Lot and will start at 11:30am MT.
Stage 2 – Avon presented byFirstBank – August 23
Stage 2, the Queen Stage, is really two stages in one. The opening 35 miles on a flat 5 mile circuit for 7 laps will run off fast and technical like a criterium. Then an extra lap of 15 miles will tackle one of Colorado’s most notorious climbs, the ridiculously steep Daybreak Ridge (fan accessible by bike or foot only). This climb up Daybreak Ridge through Beaver Creek to a QOM hits grades of 14%, and then features a fast, technical descent through Bachelor Gulch. Watch the best female climbers in the world, many in their native Colorado terrain. Stage 2 will have a start/finish on Lake Street near Nottingham Park and starts at 1:00pm MT.
Stage 3 – Golden – August 24
On paper, Stage 3 in Golden looks like a sprinter’s delight with three sprints and seven swift laps of a nine-mile circuit that starts and finishes under the iconic Golden arch downtown. But don’t be fooled as the short steep climb up the historic Washington Street is enough for a mini-QOM on the last lap, combined with additional rollers, adding up to over 4,000’ of vertical climbing. Look for breakaway attempts and sprint trains after the non-climbers have waited for two days to get on terrain that suits them. Stage 3 will have a start/finish on Washington St. and 12th and start at 11:30am MT.
Stage 4 – Denver presented by Gates Corporation – August 25
Pro racing returns to Denver for a third year on a course with some new and some traditional features. This sprint-friendly course sees the Colorado Classic move its Start/Finish line to Coors Field, but keeps the familiar highlights of crowd-friendly 17thStreet and City Park. Look for fast racing with three sprints and large crowds as sprinters battle for wins and contenders for bonus seconds in the conclusion of the first women’s-only Colorado Classic. Stage 4 will have a start/finish at Coors Field on 21st and Blake St. and start at 1:30pm MT.
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.
To learn more about the Colorado Classic presented by VF Corporation and this year’s race routes, visitcoloradoclassic.com or follow @coloradoclassicpro on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates.