Men’s teams named for Colorado Classic cycling race
DENVER — Fifteen of the sport’s top international and domestic men’s pro cycling teams, with racers who are hometown heroes and Colorado fan favorites, will compete in the second annual Colorado Classic in August, race officials announced on Thursday.
The lineup includes four UCI World Tour teams, five UCI Professional Continental squads, five UCI Continental teams and features the return of the national Team Rwanda Cycling.
“We are excited to have such a competitive field — including four World Tour teams — for the second annual Colorado Classic,” said David Koff, CEO of RPM Events Group, the organization which puts on the race. “With increased demand for teams from a crowded international race calendar, our ability to attract high-caliber teams is a true testament to Colorado’s attraction as a world class cycling destination.”
Six DIFFERENT NATIONS
The four-day Colorado Classic takes place Aug. 16-19 and will bring men’s cycling teams from six different nations to compete in Vail and Denver.
Teams announced include:
UCI World Teams
Team EF Education First-Drapac P/B Cannondale (USA)
Team LottoNL-Jumbo (NED)
UCI Professional Continental Teams
Hagens Berman Axeon (USA)
Holowesko|Citadel P/B Arapahoe Resources (USA)
Israel Cycling Academy (ISR)
UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team (USA)
Rally Cycling (USA)
UCI Continental Teams
Elevate-KHS Pro Cycling (USA)
Jelly Belly P/B Maxxis (USA)
Silber Pro Cycling (CAN)
303 Project (USA)
Team Rwanda Cycling (RWA)
A comparably elite field of women’s teams will be announced in the coming weeks as organizers of the professional bike race continue their efforts to advance women’s cycling alongside the men in Colorado’s annual showcase of the sport.
RAVELO IS IN
Though team rosters won’t be announced until later this summer, Colorado cycling fans should find several familiar faces in the men’s field. Team EF Education First-Drapac P/B Cannondale includes Taylor Phinney — son of Colorado cycling royalty Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter Phinney — and teammate Alex Howes, of Golden, (third place overall in the Colorado Classic in 2017). Sepp Kuss, of Durango, is one of two Americans on LottoNL-Jumbo, and Trek-Segafredo includes 2016 national champion Greg Daniel, of Denver.
Highlights from the UCI Pro Continental lineup include racer Cristhian Ravelo, of Eagle-Vail, who races with the 303 Project out of Denver. Ravelo, 25, said his goal in 2018 has been making it to the Colorado Classic to race in front of the hometown fans who have supported him so much throughout his career. Other UCI Pro Continental highlights include UCI American Tour powerhouses Rally Cycling and UnitedHealthcare; and Holowesko-Citadel, home to free-spirited TJ Eisenhart (fourth in 2017) from Utah.
The Colorado Classic is sanctioned by Union Cycliste Internationale and designated as a 2.HC race — the highest category outside of World Tour races — promising a strong international field. The Colorado Classic is also part of the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour, which showcases the premier domestic road events in the United States.
The men’s race will cover roughly 245 miles over four stages.
Stage 1 will be the Vail Village Circuit on Thursday, Aug. 16; Stage 2 will be the Vail Pass Mountain Time Trial on Friday, Aug. 17; Stage 3 will be a Denver to Lookout Mountain out-and-back on Saturday, Aug. 18; and Stage 4 will be a Denver City Park circuit on Sunday, Aug. 19.
“Drawing a high-caliber field to Colorado is helped by the state’s deep history with bike racing, the quality of courses and the passion of cycling fans,” said race director Jim Birrell. “The Colorado Classic is building on that to create a race that will be memorable for spectators and teams alike.”
Women’s racing at the Colorado Classic expands from two to four stages in 2018, with routes similar to the men’s race.
For more information, please visit ColoradoClassic.com.
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