The recent USA Pro Cycling Challenge races were by no means the first time the big names of world cycling raced through the wonderful landscape of Colorado.

During the 1980s the Coors Classic glittered with cycling stars, and even spawned what became a cult film starring one of Hollywood’s best-known actors. The film was called American Flyers and its star was Kevin Costner, but the real stars of the Coors Classic were the race winners, who include Greg Lemond, Raul Alcala, and Bernard Hinault.

But the men’s race was only half the story, because every year apart from 1976 there was a women’s Coors Classic as well, and it was the equal of any race in Europe.

In fact it’s said to be the inspiration behind the movement for a women’s Tour de France. If anything the women’s Coors winners list is even more star-studded than the men’s, with some of the all-time greats putting their names on the trophy.

Holland’s Katie van Oosten-Hage and Jennie Longo of France took three victories each, and the first woman ever to win an Olympic cycling medal, American Connie Carpenter won the Coors Classic twice.

Read the full article in the November edition of Cycle Sport, out now priced £4.50.

 

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