Defending champion Sara Poidevin (Rally Cycling) headlines the field at the 2018 edition of the Colorado Classic Women's Race, which takes place over four stages from August 16 to 19. Poidevin is part of a strong field that will also feature 2018 Tour of California winner Katie Hall (UnitedHealthcare) and former junior world champion Chloe Dygert Owen (Twenty20/Sho-Air).
The inaugural edition of the Colorado Classic took place a year ago, with Poidevin claiming victory in the then-two-day race after winning the final stage to Breckenbridge. Now four days in length, the race poses an even more robust challenge, though one difficulty remains unchanged.
"What sets this race apart is the altitude,” Poidevin said. "We've had races with some stages at altitude this year, but having four stages at altitude will make the race different from other stage races, since everyone responds so differently at higher elevations. Our stages are short, meaning the racing will be aggressive from the start. Depending on how the circuit stages are raced, the time trial day will be the best opportunity for GC contenders to gain time."
Poidevin leads a Rally Cycling squad that also includes Abigail Mickey, who placed third a year ago, Emma White, and Megan Jastrab, the reigning USA Cycling junior national champion.
UnitedHealthcare's line-up features Katie Hall, Leah Thomas, and Lauren Hall, who sprinted to victory at the GP de Gatineau earlier this season. Dygert Owen’s Twenty20 squad boasts fast finisher Jennifer Valente, Shayna Powless and Allie Dragoo.
Other riders confirmed for the 2018 Colorado Classic include Lauren Stephens (Cylance Pro Cycling), Katie Compton (Fearless Femme), the Team Affinity pairing of Leigh Ann Ganzar and Mia Kilberg, as well as the Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank duo of Kendall Ryan and Lex Albrecht.
Although not a UCI-sanctioned event, the Colorado Classic features on USA Cycling's Pro Road Tour. This year's event features four stages, beginning with a circuit in Vail on August 16. Stage 2 sees the race tackle the Vail Pass time trial before the event moves to Denver for the stage 3 criterium. On the concluding stage, the women’s peloton will compete on the same RiNo Arts District circuit as the men.
"I'm excited that we will have such a talented, well-rounded group of riders competing for stage wins and the second Colorado Classic women’s title," said women's race director Sean Petty. "I'm equally excited and proud that we've increased the women's race from two stages last year to four stages this year. The courses in Vail and Denver will provide a tremendous platform to showcase women's cycling and will feature world champions and Olympic medallists."
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