By Rob Karman
Featuring world class historic courses once raced by Hinault, Lemond and Hampsten, the Excel Sports Boulder Stage Race promises to be a race to remember. It all starts this Friday with the Morgul-Bismarck Time Trial. Taking in about half of the original Morgul-Bismarck loop from the Red Zinger/Coors Classic, this TT features the infamous "Hump", "Wall" (of the Movie American Flyers fame) and the "Feedhill".
On Saturday, racers face the original Boulder-Roubaix course that was once featured on the National Racing Calendar. This 8.5 mile loop of rolling dirt roads with a fast paved downhill will test rider's skill, endurance and equipment.
Sunday brings a double stage day starting in the morning with the Sunshine Canyon Hill Climb, a 9 mile up hill lung burner through some of the most scenic territory known to man. Riders will face a short recovery before the North Boulder Park Criterium in the afternoon. This classic course was the scene of many epic battles during the Red Zinger/Coors Classic and was the stage for the introduction to bike racing for many current and former pros including Davis Phinney, one of America's best ever.
The Pro-1-2 men's race is shaping up to be a re-match between season revelation and Boulder local Andy Bajadali (Vitamin Cottage) and Burke "T-Bird" Swindlehurst. Bajadali narrowly lost the Tour of the Gila on the final day to Burke Swindlehurst (Sea Silver) and his Vitamin Cottage team will be firing on all cylinders to help him take the victory on home turf. Also on the start list is National TT Champ Chris Baldwin who will be aiming to lower the course record on the historic TT route en route to taking the GC win.
In the Pro-1-2 Women's race, last year's defending champ and former MTB Olympian Ann Trombley (ExcelSports.com) will have her work cut out for her as T-mobile team mates National Road Race Champ Kristin Armstrong and former TT World Champ Mari Holden will pack a 1-2 punch for the magenta squad.
With only 2 days to go, the fields are filling up fast for the 2nd Annual Excel Sports Boulder Stage Race presented by Compass Bank. Registration is still open at www.boulderbikerace.com where you will also find more details about the race.
Look for same day coverage on cyclingnews.com.