On March 27, officials with the Colorado Classic — the state's newest pro-level cycling event to hit roads this August — announced that the women's stage race has been added to the prestigious USA Cycling Pro Road Tour, which showcases the premier domestic road events in the United States.
"The U.S. has consistently produced women who have won Olympic medals and World Championships," said Sean Petty, women's race director and UCI Road Commission member. "I'm proud we get to showcase some of the best riders in the world for two tough days of women's racing in Colorado."
The women's Colorado Classic will be held on Thursday, Aug. 10, in Colorado Springs and Friday, Aug. 11, in Breckenridge. A separate women's criterium, which is not part of the Colorado Classic stage race, will feature pro and amateur riders the evening of Aug. 11, in Denver. The men's Colorado Classic will be held Aug. 10-13, with starts and finishes in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge and Denver. Sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale and USA Cycling, the men's Colorado Classic will feature the sport's top squads, and all riders in the Colorado Classic will compete on the same courses. Details on teams, riders and routes will be announced later this spring.
The USA Cylcing Pro Road Tour, or PRT, features the nation's top road-cycling events and is open to both professional and amateur cyclists. The PRT showcases events across the U.S., including criteriums, road races, stage races and omniums. Over the course of six months, the PRT gives overall individual and team rankings for men and women, and then crowns PRT champions following 21 events from coast to coast.
"The Colorado Classic's commitment to a women's race is important for women's cycling in general, and will serve as a great platform to recruit new participants and fans to the sport," said Laura Charameda, a former pro rider who serves as the director of competition for the Colorado Classic women's race. Born in Santa Rosa, California, she won more than 250 women's races during her professional career, including multiple National Championship titles and a World Championship medal.
"Women's cycling is in a growth phase globally and interest is strong in North America, so we expect a robust response to the women's event in Colorado," Charameda continued.