A group of Coloradans is hoping this change at the Colorado Classic will help save professional cycling in Colorado. America has become a graveyard for pro-cycling races.
Sustainability is a monster that has plagued professional cycling races for years. Now, a group in Colorado is hoping that a new idea in pro-cycling will keep the race alive for years to come. That new idea is a relatively simple one - they're going to charge an entry fee. David Koff, the CEO of the company that hosts the Colorado Classic
, said in a press conference, "Our goal is sustainability and to achieve that, we need to change the sport of cycling by charging as admission fee."
The easy-access free nature of pro-cycling races has been a thorn in the side of bike races across the globe. Unlike other sports, it's simple to just pick a spot on the roadside along the course and cheer and wave as some of the world's top athletes zoom by just a few feet away. While it has been a huge draw that spectators can watch for free from just about anywhere, that puts a huge financial burden on private investors, hosting towns, sponsors and VIPs.
The Colorado Classic will be held on Aug. 10-13. It will follow the traditional racing model for the first two stages in Colorado Springs and Breckenridge. When the race reaches Denver, though, things will operate a little differently. Alongside the race will be the Velorama Colorado festival. The festival will serve a hub for the race's start and finish in RiNo and will require tickets to enter.
The Velorama festival will be a large-scale community event incorporating three days worth of live music, a beer garden, a flea market and a bike expo. The race will serve as the centerpiece of the festival. The race will still be free to watch from the sidelines along parts of the Denver route, but the best seats (those along the finish line) will require payment to reach.
Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie are listed as headliners for Friday and Saturday, along with performances by Saint Motel, the New Pornographers and La Santa Cecilia, bands that regularly headline stand alone music festivals. Drink RiNo, a collection of brewers, cideries and a winery all based in RiNo, is the alcohol sponsor for all three parts of the race.
In Europe, cycling enjoys substantial government subsidies. Outside of Europe, the nature of the sport makes it difficult to sustain financially. Aside from some smaller races and the independently owned Tour of California, very few high-profile races have lasted in the US. The Pro Challenge nearly succeeded, but the lack of a main sponsor eventually doomed it. For more information on Velorama Colorado visit their site
to find out everything you need to know!
Tickets to Velorama Colorado are available now!
3-day passes and daily 4-packs are available, as well as standard day passes. Tickets will also be available day-of for $45.
Are you planning on going to Velorama and the Colorado Classic?