Colorado Classic brings back iconic Vail Pass TT for 2018

The Colorado Classic revives the famous Vail Pass time trial route for the 2018 race. The first two stages to be held in Vail.

The Colorado Classic will revive the famous Vail Pass time trial route for the 2018 race, organizers confirmed Tuesday.

The race, to be held August 16-19, will begin with a stage 1 circuit around Vail. Stage 2 will be the individual race against the clock up Vail Pass.

The time trial — traditionally about 16km, starting in Vail and finishing midway up the paved bike path at high altitude — was pivotal in some editions of the Coors Classic and later the USA Pro Challenge. Five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault won on Vail Pass in 1986 en route to an overall win in the race.

The Red Zinger Classic was the first race to hold a time trial on the route in 1975. John Howard and Hannah North won the overalls in that inaugural edition of the race.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was the last rider to win a professional race on the course in 2014, on his way to an overall victory in the USA Pro Challenge.

“Professional bike racing is in the DNA of Vail. This year, we are proud to showcase two days in Vail, including the iconic Vail Pass time trial and the historic Vail town circuit,” said David Koff, CEO of RPM Events Group, the organization that puts on the race.

The final two stages of the Colorado Classic, August 18 and 19, will take place in Denver alongside a criterium and the Velorama Festival in the RiNo Art District. The details of the second half of the race have yet to be confirmed.