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Town of Vail offers tips for watching Colorado Classic cycling race Aug. 16-17

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August 10, 2018, 8:07 am

As Vail prepares to welcome the Colorado Classic professional men and women’s cycling competitors for the Stage 1 circuit race on Thursday, Aug. 16 and the Stage 2 time trial on Friday Aug. 17, use these tips to enjoy the fun:

Getting to Vail

  • Use public transportation, carpool or ride a bike to Vail, as parking will be limited. ECO Regional Transit will offer free express service from the park ‘n ride at Freedom Park to the Vail Transportation Center every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16. Free commemorative cowbells will be given away to the first 500 passengers to be used to cheer on the racers. ECO passengers are reminded that bikes are not allowed inside ECO buses and bike racks are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit www.eaglecounty.us/transit or call 970-328-3531 for more information.
  • Get to Vail early to find free, close-in daytime parking on race days. Otherwise, overflow parking will be taking place until 11 p.m. on the North and South Frontage Roads which will be serviced by Vail Transit during both stages. Watch for variable message signs and traffic control for directions to event parking. To accommodate the race route, the Lionshead parking structure will be closed to all inbound and outbound vehicles from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the circuit race on Thursday, Aug. 16. The Vail Village parking structure will be open, but will fill fast on Thursday. During the time trial race on Friday, Aug. 17, the Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures will be operating as usual. Daytime parking in the structures will be free with a $25 overnight fee for vehicles parked between 4 and 5 a.m. The Ford Park parking lot will be closed both days to accommodate staging of the race teams. On-street neighborhood parking will be prohibited on race days unless otherwise noted by variable message signs or traffic controls.  Parking on the shoulders of Interstate 70 is prohibited. For more information, visit parking.coloradoclassicvail.com.
  • Vail Transit will have modified routes on race days. For details, visit buses.coloradoclassicvail.com.
  • The Colorado Classic operates under special use permit with the U.S. Forest Service. No parking will be allowed on Bighorn Road from the overpass to the gate from 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 extending to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17. The Gore Creek Campground will remain open on race days with vehicle access prohibited for the duration of the event on Friday, Aug. 17.

Event Schedule

Stage 1 – Circuit Race – Thursday, Aug. 16
9 a.m. – Expo Village Opens, Vail Village
10 a.m. – Women’s Race Start at Mountain Plaza
12:15 p.m. – Men’s Race Start at Mountain Plaza
12:15 p.m. – Women’s Race Awards at Mountain Plaza
3 p.m. – Men’s Race Awards at Mountain Plaza
6 p.m. – Vail Jazz @ Vail Square Lionshead

Stage 2 – Time Trial – Friday, Aug. 17
8 a.m. – Whistle Pig Vail Gravel Fondo at Mountain Plaza
9 a.m. – Expo Village Opens, Vail Village
10 a.m. – Women’s Race Start at Mountain Plaza
12:30 p.m. – Men’s Race Start at Mountain Plaza
3 p.m. – Men’s and Women’s Race Awards at Mountain Plaza
7 p.m. – Whistle Pig Vail: The Jerry Garcia Birthday Band, Ford Amphitheater

Note: Awards timing will vary depending on the timing of race finishes. Visit coloradoclassic.com for the most up-to-date schedule.

Spectator Viewing

  • Bring water, sunscreen, a hat and plan for all types of weather. Stay for the day to witness incredible racing by the 88 women and 90 menprofessional cyclists from over 20 countries.
  • For Stage 1 on Thursday, Aug. 16, recommended spectator areas include the start area at Mountain Plaza, locations throughout Vail Village, and at the Vail Athletic Fields, where the race will finish.
  • Vail Village and Lionshead businesses will be fully accessible to pedestrians during the races. Fencing will be used to separate the race course from the spectators and designated crossings will be used for additional pedestrian access.
  • The best viewing areas for the Stage 2 Time Trial will be along the course route in Vail Village and at the climb on Old Highway 6 to the finish. Consider riding a bike from Vail Village or head to the top of Vail Pass and ride down to the finish area. Another option is to use the East Vail bus route to access outlying spectator areas or for those wanting to walk up the race course on Old Highway 6.
  • Also, be mindful of fire restrictions which prohibit outdoor smoking other than in designated areas where ash trays or cans are available for disposal. Smoking is prohibited on U.S. Forest Service lands.
  • Consider leaving your pet at home due to crowding and noise.

Race Day Info

  • Watch the races live by downloading the Colorado Classic Tour Tracker mobile App.
  • Visit coloradoclassic.com to learn about routes, teams and riders.
  • Use the Vail App to find out about real-time parking availability and race day specials from participating businesses.
  • For alerts and road closures related to the Colorado Classic, subscribe to ecalert.org and select the “special events” category.
  • For lost and found information, call the Lionshead Welcome Center at 970-477-3523.

Access to Vail Health Hospital

To access Vail Health Hospital for all emergencies and scheduled appointments, please utilize South Frontage Road, turning onto East Lionshead Circle and proceeding to West Meadow Drive for the emergency entrance at 181 West Meadow Drive. Complimentary valet parking service is available during daytime hours for all patients and guests. During the race, additional self-parking is available in the west lower level of the Lionshead parking structure (150 designated spaces) with a short walk traveling east along the pathway to the hospital. Any appointments at the Medical Professional Building (US Bank), must also use this same route to West Meadow Drive, proceeding east past the hospital emergency entrance. Turn north into the Medical Professional Building rear entrance driveway where there will also be complimentary valet parking service. Any questions can be directed to the main Vail Health phone number at 970-476-2451.

Closures/Limited Access

  • Residential streets that are connected to the race routes will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the day of the race. Emergency ingress and egress will be maintained. For a full list of closures, visit roads.coloradoclassicvail.com.
  • The Vail Golf Course will be closed until 3 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16 with regular play on Friday, Aug. 17.
  • Due to the closure of the Ford Park parking lot on both days, access to the tennis courts, Ford fields and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens will be limited to foot traffic. Check here for Vail Recreation District announcements on race day facilities access.
  • Town of Vail offices, including the Vail Public Library, will be closed all day on Thursday, Aug. 16 and will reopen on Friday, Aug. 17.
  • Interstate 70 East Vail Exit 180 will be closed in both directions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17.
  • Access to trailhead parking for Booth Falls, Pitkin Creek, Bighorn, Deluge Lake and Gore Creek will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17.
  • Vail Valley Drive will be open to local traffic only on Friday, Aug. 17 with access to Golden Peak, Vail Golf Course and interior neighborhoods via Blue Cow Chute east of  the Vail Village parking structure. Vehicles will exit the neighborhood at the intersection of South Frontage Road near the golf course. South Frontage Road will operate in a one-way, westbound-only configuration on Friday where vehicles will be directed west for access to Interstate 70.
  • For more information or questions about neighborhood impacts, contact Code Enforcement Officer Michael Chon at mchon@vailgov.com or call 970-306-2466.

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