Oh boy, am I excited to have professional cycling back in Colorado. The drought left in the wake of the U.S. Pro Challenge shutting down has finally lifted!
The Colorado Classic announced its 2017 route today. The new race will be held August 10-13 in the Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Denver. The four-day men’s race traverses 503.5km and includes a leg destroying 21,587 feet of climbing.
Right from the start, the peloton will be challenged with steep climbs in stage 1 around Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs as they race six circuits of the 15.58km route. The race starts and finishes in downtown Colorado Springs.
Stage 2 in Breckenridge will offer similar punishment. The 10.3km loop goes over Moonstone road, a tough climb if you have to do it once, the peloton will complete the circuit and climb 10 times.
After Friday’s race in the high country, the race will merge with the Velorama Festival. The music festival features headliners Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie and will take over the RiNo neighborhood and the Denver Flea.
Starting in the RiNo neighborhood in Denver, stage 3 will definitely the must watch stage. The 130-kilometer route climbs Gap Road, a narrow mountain road just off of Coal Creek Canyon. From there, the race travels along the Peak to Peak highway. Finally, the route descends through Golden Gate State park to finish in Denver. Expect to see the race splinter over the tough initial climbs, but likely come back together during the fast approach to Denver for an exciting group sprint finish.
Finally, the men’s race concludes with a 10-lap city circuit in Denver. It’ll be flat, it’ll be fast and it should be a day for the sprinters.
Colorado Classic Route
Stage 1: Colorado Springs circuit, 150.4km
Stage 2: Breckenridge circuit, 103km
Stage 3: Denver, 130km
Stage 4: Denver circuit, 120.1km