More than 20 years after its last running Lance Armstrong has commenced a bid to revive the Coors International Bicycle Classic by meeting with Colorado government officials. The seven time Tour de France winner met with Governor Bill Ritter to gather support for the idea of launching a stage race similar to the historic event by 2011.
"There is no reason the Coors Classic doesn't come back. I think U.S. cycling needs it," Armstrong told Associated Press.
Armstrong and Ritter were joined by Connie and Davis Phinney for the discussions about reviving a stage race in Colorado. Davis, the father of Trek-Livestrong rider Taylor, was the last person to win the event sponsored by the Coors Brewing Company in 1988.
Ritter has thrown his support behind the idea in principal and while state funding is unlikely due to a funding crisis, he’s reportedly hoping to help form a commission with the aim of obtaining commercial sponsorship money to fund the project. "I think Lance Armstrong is committed to some kind of race in Colorado. This is a big deal for us," Ritter said.
Other riders to have won the Coors Classic during its nine year history include Tour de France winners Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault. The first Mexican rider to contest the Tour de France, Raúl Alcalá, also won the race towards the start of his long career in 1987.
Interestingly, while no connection has been suggested by involved parties, Armstrong’s meetings to launch a race similar to the brewery-sponsored event came on the same day he launched a three year partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev to become a spokesperson for the Michelob Ultra beer brand. Armstrong travelled to St. Louis for the announcement, with the company announcing it planned on using Armstrong in television and print advertising.
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