The new UCI 2.HC race set to run in Colorado this August will feature a three-day arts and music festival headlined by bands Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie.
On Wednesday organizers of the race, called “Colorado Classic” unveiled plans for a festival called “Velorama Colorado,” which will be held in Denver’s River North arts district from August 11-13. The festival includes a bike expo, flea market, and craft beer market. The Colorado Classic runs August 10-13 and includes stages in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Denver, as well as a two-day women’s race, which runs August 10-11.
The festival will kick off on Friday, August 11, after the women’s criterium in downtown Denver, with Chicago-based band Wilco performing after the race. Death Cab for Cutie will perform the following night after the men’s field completes an out-and-back stage from Denver to Colorado’s Peak to Peak Highway, which sits at approximately 8,000 feet elevation.
Organizers of the event hope the combination of the festival and Denver’s trendy neighborhood will help attract fans to bicycle racing.
“We are re-imagining bike racing as the centerpiece of a large-scale community event,” said Daivd Koff, CEO of RPM Events Group, which operates the race. “We will broaden the appeal of an already wildly popular sport.”
The festival and concert series is the keystone of RPM’s attempt to create create a sustainable race. Unlike most American professional bicycle races, which rely predominantly on sponsorship to cover costs, RPM’s hopes to generate revenue by selling tickets to the festival. Tickets for the event cost between $25 to $45 per day.
In September the group announced their plans for a new bicycle race in Colorado to take the place of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which ceased operations after the 2015 edition after taking on sizable financial losses. RPM pegged the budget of the four-day race in the mid seven figures. Organizers said that they are still searching for a title sponsor for the event.
“By imagining an event that is more than a bike race and bringing a ‘gate’ to the sport, we are confident that we can build an annual event that is anchored in Colorado and gives back to the community in meaningful ways,” Koff said.