The UCI men’s Colorado Classic is no more for 2019 and in its place will be a much bigger and higher profile stand-alone women’s events race. The Colorado Classic becomes the first dedicated women’s stage race in the Western hemisphere and will offer a quadrupled prize purse, team stipends, live streaming, and a longer more challenging route for its women’s race. The move is nearly unprecedented in pro cycling where men’s events so often overshadow the women’s racing in length, viewer access, prize offerings and prestige.
“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 RPM Events Group chairman Ken Gart. “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.”
Advocates for women’s cycling will be excited to see the commitment of Colorado Classic race organizer RPM Events Group LLC. The race will offer a women’s cycling event unrivalled by any other currently on the calendar. The race has nearly quadrupled the purse from the 2018 race surpassing what was on offer in the men’s race and will be offering teams stipends to support travel and expenses.
Furthermore, viewers will be offered easy access to the race through live streaming partnerships. Viewers will be able to live stream the race, watch on-demand replays with access distribute through partner websites, through Facebook Live and the race’s Tour Tracker mobile app.
“From the inaugural race of the Colorado Classic two years ago, the organization has stood behind women,” said three-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong. “The announcement today of a women’s 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’s only event back in 2002 at the HP Women’s Challenge; 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.”
The race will run for four stages from Aug. 22 to 25, 2019 as part of the UCI calendar and the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour. To make the racing as attractive as possible for fans, the organizers will design a more challenging youth with longer race distances and better start times. The organizers hope to attract a very strong field calling the race an ideal run-up to the UCI Road World Championships in the UK and good preparing for the 2020 Olympics.
“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 race director Sean Petty.
The race will make an effort across the ranks to promote women’s cycling using an all-female team of public announcers for calling the race, will invite female influencers and celebrate athletes.
assembled an all-female team of public address announcers for calling the race, and will feature several female influencers and heroes spanning across women’s athletics.
“I am really excited to hear that the Colorado Classic women’s race is growing into a 4-day, UCI event,” said 2018 winner Katie Hall. “Colorado is such a beautiful state and such a hotbed for American cycling that it seems like the perfect place to host a challenging UCI stage race that will feature the women.”
Canadian Sara Poidevin won the inaugural edition of the women’s Colorado Classic and in 2018 Hall took the victory ahead of teammate Leah Thomas and Abigail Mickey of Rally Cycling.