Four-day bicycle race and three-day music fest cruises into town this weekend.
It’s pretty much everything a Coloradan could hope for: bike races, mountain climbs, music, craft brews, and beautiful weather. The Colorado Classic rolls back into Denver, and it’s bringing Velorama with it. This weekend is the time to head to the RiNo and downtown area, or hit the mountains, to cheer on your favorite cyclist and enjoy a host of festivities.
Cheer on pro riders as they hit the streets and tackle the mountains in Vail and Denver during this second annual road race. Thursday and Friday will see the riders racing around Vail. On Saturday, the men start Stage 3 in RiNo and head for the hills, climbing Lookout Mountain, Bear Creek, and Dinosaur Ridge before they eventually end the route back at RiNo.
Saturday will also see the women taking on timed criteria races around the Velorama festival on the same day. So, grab a beverage and watch these elite athletes battle for top spot with a little background music from the stage.
On Sunday, men’s and women’s circuit races will dominate downtown Denver and the City Park area. The best viewing area is really anywhere along the course. Get to your favorite spot early to stake your claim because this is sure to draw a pretty large crowd.
See below for maps of the routes:
Stage 3 Men: 100-mile Queen’s Stage. 10:30 a.m. start. Courtesy of Colorado Classic.
Stage 3 Women: Time criterium; 50 minutes + 5 laps; 12:30 p.m. start. Courtesy of Colorado Classic.
Stage 4: Circuit races; 9.1-mile circuit course; women 10 a.m. start ; men 12:15 p.m. start. Courtesy of Colorado Classic.
Want to get in on the action? Then, the companion fan festival Velorama is the place to be. It’s got something for everyone of all ages. Not to mention that riders will pass by the festival on both Saturday and Sunday during the races.
“Velorama features bands; experiential cycling events; amateur bike races; an interactive Bike Expo with test tracks; Kids Zone; craft beer, wine and hard cider from local breweries; cuisine from 25 local food trucks; and the start/finish of the Colorado Classic on Saturday and Sunday and the women’s pro criterium on Saturday,” according to the site.
In addition to the brews and bikes, this festival has pulled in a serious, must-see musical line-up, from headliner Modest Mouse to the Cold War Kids.
Tickets are available online and at the festival, though you will be charged more at the door.
Dates: Aug 17, 4 p.m. to Aug. 19, 9 p.m.
Location: RiNo Art District / Coors Field (Lot B)
How to Watch
There are a variety of spots at key race points to watch the action.
“We’ve taken several steps to make the Colorado Classic even better for fans this year, from expanding the women's race to four stages on routes similar to the men's to identifying multiple spectator-friendly Race Rally Points where fans can gather with friends and watch,” said David Koff, CEO of RPM Events Group, organizers of the race in a news release.
Yep. There will be closures. CDOT anticipates closing roads in RiNo around Friday afternoon for the race and festival. The music festival will also close will close Blake and Walnut streets from 27th Street to 33rd Street from Friday through Sunday.
The race will also close down several roads on its route through the mountains on Saturday and around town on Sunday. CDOT offers a list of race-specific road closures and delays on its site.
What do you think? Will you be checking out the Colorado Classic and Velorama this weekend? Let us know in the comments below, and we'll see you there!