Colorado Classic reveals hilly route for inaugural race

The Colorado Classic announces 2017 route featuring circuit races in Colorado Springs, Breckenridge, and Denver.

The Colorado Classic announced its 2017 route Wednesday for the new race to be held August 10-13 in the Denver area. The four-day men’s race traverses 503.5km and includes 21,587 feet of climbing. The women’s race will be held along the same routes on the first two days, with 5,890 feet of climbing over 113.2km.

Right from the start, the race will feature steep climbs in stage 1 around Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The men will race six circuits of the 15.58km route, and the women will race two of those laps plus two short circuits. The race starts and finishes in downtown Colorado Springs.

Stage 2 in Breckenridge will offer a similarly punishing circuit. The 10.3km loop goes over Moonstone road, a steep climb featured in several editions of the USA Pro Challenge, the last major UCI stage race held in Colorado. Men will race 10 circuits, and the women will race five laps.

After Friday’s race in the high country, the race will merge with the Velorama Festival. The music event features headliners Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie.

Starting in the RiNo neighborhood in Denver, stage 3 looks to be the race’s queen stage. The 130-kilometer route climbs Gap Road, a narrow mountain road just off of Coal Creek Canyon. From there, the race traverses on the Peak to Peak highway. Then it descends through Golden Gate State park to finish in Denver. Though the climbs will be hard, the fast approach to the city may allow the race to regroup before the finish.

Finally, the men’s race concludes with a 10-lap city circuit in Denver, which should favor the sprinters.

Men’s Colorado Classic route

Stage 1: Colorado Springs circuit, 150.4km
Stage 2: Breckenridge circuit, 103km
Stage 3: Denver, 130km
Stage 4: Denver circuit, 120.1km

Women’s Colorado Classic route

Stage 1: Colorado Springs circuit, 61.7km
Stage 2: Breckenridge circuit, 51.5km