By Gregor Brown
A new stage race in the US, the Colorado Classic, will run August 10 to 13 with stages in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Denver. Organiser RPM Events Group is securing a title sponsor and a handful of WorldTour teams.
"Coloradans love pro bike racing," said chief of USA Cycling, Derek Bouchard-Hall, in a statement printed by The Denver Post.
"We're extremely pleased that the Colorado Classic will continue the state's proud tradition with both men's and women's events."
The stage race should build on the momentum built by the USA Pro Challenge stage race that ran from 2011 through 2015. It will also include a women's race on August 10 and 11.
It will follow the successful Tour of Utah. Lachlan Morton won last year over Adrien Costa (Axeon) and Andrew Talansky (Cannondale). The 2017 Tour of Utah, ranked 2.HC, runs July 31 to August 6.
Big teams should attend. The 2015 USA Pro Challenge attracted teams BMC Racing, Cannondale and Trek, Tinkoff.
Those teams with American interests, including Team Sky, could be on the 2017 start list for the Colorado Classic, ranked 2.HC. The roster should include 18 teams, with around six coming from the WorldTour.
The race could take advantage of those teams already competing in the Tour of Utah. It will also add another much needed stage race in the US.
Colorado is no stranger to big races with the Red Zinger Classic, Coors Classic and until 2015, USA Pro Challenge. RPM Events Group is hoping with its investors and potential sponsors that they can start something that they can sustain for generations of cyclists.
"We have focused on all elements on the cost side to try to make this more sustainable," explained David Koff, the chief of RPM Events Group.
"We think that's an exciting way to help connect pro cycling with your average daily cyclist," Koff said. "It fits with our investors' approach. We view this as a large-scale community event with participation being a major part of that."
The stages will include three circuit stages and one out and back stage – all including part of the Colorado mountains. The final stage should close in the capital city of Denver.
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