Jessica Phillips assembled a decorated women’s peloton at her inaugural Aspen Women’s Pro Race, held in conjunction with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, from August 22-24 in Colorado. Former double world time trial champion and Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) and French legend Jeannie Longo are among the high quality field expected to participate.
"I have always been in touch with Kristin Armstrong about the race, just trying to work with each other to help promote women's cycling," Phillips said. "As for Jeannie, it was Connie Carpenter's idea to contact her, as she won the Coors Classic and loves Colorado."
"It really helps having these two women registered for the event," she said. "It makes the race really fun to promote to the public when I can say the gold medalist, and two-time world time trial champion is coming, along with one of the most decorated cyclists of all time, will be racing in Aspen."
The Aspen Women’s Pro Race attracted other world-class competitors including UCI teams HTC-Highroad’s Amanda Miller, Ally Stacher, Emilia Fahlin and Katie Colclough and Colavita-Forno D’Asolo’s Kristin Sanders, Andrea Dvorak, Lauren Hall and Janel Holcomb.
The three-day event will include a stage one uphill time trial in Maroon Bells, stage two circuit race in Snowmass and a stage three criterium in downtown Aspen.
"Everything is coming together really well," Phillips said. "I have some cute podium guys, we have awesome banners in town, and host housing and volunteers are all set."
Phillips put together a three-day stage race for women after hearing about the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge, held only for professional men from August 22-28 across 12 cities in Colorado. The women's race is funded through Ajax Tavern, UnitedHealthcare and several private donations.
"I am hoping that every year the men's race comes through Aspen we will also have a top-level women's race," Phillips said. "I think this is only possible with a supportive community like Aspen, and I am not sure if I could pull it off anywhere else."