Annual event becomes the sole women’s stand-alone stage race in the Western Hemisphere.
The Colorado Classic's men's race is no more. After two years of this major pro race in the state, Colorado Classic is now taking a new approach to the 2019 event: a four-day women-only race instead of dividing resources on men's and women's race.
Organizers of the event felt they weren't making much of an impact on the men's cycling world, so they felt they should focus on making a dramatic impact on women's cycling.
“With women’s cycling, we saw the greatest opportunity to fulfill our mission to create a world-class race in Colorado that is socially impactful,” said Ken Gart, Chairman of RPM Events Group in a statement. “By creating one great race instead of two average ones, we can shine a bright light on Colorado and pro women’s racing while affecting meaningful social change.”
The 2019 event will be held Aug. 22-25 at locations yet to be determined. The women will take the center stage and compete for a $75,000 prize; the 2018 race purse was $70,000 to the men and only $20,000 to the women. The race organizers will now focus on designing race stages that are longer and more challenging for riders.
“Because of the Colorado Classic’s commitment to pro women cycling, we expect a stellar international field of approximately 20 teams and world-class racers to compete,” said Sean Petty, Race Director for the Colorado Classic in a statement.
The event's change in focus has garnered praise from Denver officials as putting Colorado center-stage in promoting women in sport.
“As a major sponsor instrumental in bringing pro racing back to Colorado, we are proud to support the Colorado Classic’s bold move in becoming a women’s race,” said Colorado Governor-Elect Jared Polis. “It’s a perfect match, as the Colorado Classic reflects what our state is known for – innovation and inclusion – while showcasing Colorado’s diverse outdoor health and wellness lifestyle.”
Courtesy of Colorado Classic (Facebook).
Races will be live-streamed online for free viewing, even in Europe, which is a win for the women because their races aren't consistently televised. It is gaining much love from top female pro cyclists, as well.
“From the inaugural race of the Colorado Classic two years ago, the organization has stood behind women,” said Kristin Armstrong, Olympic gold medalist. "The announcement of a women-only UCI stage race truly shows the dedication and commitment the Colorado Classic has to women in sport. I was fortunate enough to have my start in a women-only event back in 2002; I know first-hand the tremendous amount of impact this will have on women’s cycling by creating and providing opportunity for spectators and riders across the world.”
You can read more about the new focus of the Colorado Classic, as well as follow the event as it unfolds, find information on volunteering, inquire about sponsorship, and find information on participating in the race on the event's website. You can also keep up to date on the event on the Colorado Classic Facebook page.
What: Colorado Classic
When: Aug. 22-25, 2019
Where: To be determined
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