The Quiznos Pro Challenge has received 23 applications from would-be host cities for the all-new race for 2011, modelled on the Coors Classic in Colorado, USA. Race organizers confirmed the number of applications received by last week’s deadline at the Interbike trade show, adding that some weeks will be spent evaluating the applications before a route is formally announced.
USA Cycling CEO Sean Petty praised the support the state of Colorado has thrown behind the new event. “There’s been a tremendous amount of buzz within the community in Colorado ever since we announced this event,” said Petty. “We’re very pleased to see the Coors Classic legacy is still alive and I think some of the stages will certainly recreate some of the excitement and drama of the Coors Classic.
“It’s tremendous to see the activity there,” he added. “The cities have come forward with some wonderful bids and we’re sure it’s going to be a very challenging course and we look forward to the announcement of that course in the coming days.”
Petty said USA Cycling and the Quiznos event organizers have been working in close consultation with Tour of Utah organizers to ensure that the events are scheduled together in a way that doesn’t harm either event. “They’ll be about a week apart,” he said. “So there'll be one on the Sunday and then the Quiznos Pro Challenge will start on the Monday a week apart.”
Having an extensive history at the Coors Classic, Davis Phinney was on hand to launch the event’s new logo and website at Interbike. Phinney was excited about the return of top level cycling to the place where his career began and prospered all those years ago.
“I couldn’t be happier, honestly, to see bike racing come back to the state of Colorado in a big way,” said Phinney. “Having a bike race there in the 70s is what got me into bike racing, that’s what set my whole life plan at a time when I was feeling a little bit lost. I stood by and watched the race go past and thought ‘I want to do that’. I think it’s going to be very exciting so let’s go, let’s go back to big time Colorado racing.”
Both Garmin-Transitions’s Ryder Hesjedal and BMC Racing Team’s George Hincapie said they were looking forward to learning more about the race’s route. “As you can see there’s a very big buzz going on at the Quiznos Pro Challenge,” said Hincapie. “We’re all very excited to race it; not only race it but find out over the next couple of months exactly where we will be racing. It’s just such a great thing for cycling in America that we have such a prestigious event coming to Colorado. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of it.”