Defending champion Katie Hall could return to the Colorado Classic in August despite her Boels Dolmans team not being on the start list for the the August 22-25 UCI 2.1 race. Hall, who won the race last year with UnitedHealthcare and then signed with Boels Dolmans in the off season, was one of eight riders USA Cycling named to the long list for the 'Collegiate All-Star Team' that will compete alongside 15 other squads at this year's race.
Hall is joined on the list by Charlotte Backus, Madeline Bemis, Anna Christian, Clio Dinan, Emma Edwards, Cara O’Neil and Samantha Runnels.
"We are happy to have another opportunity to showcase the talent of our up-and-coming American riders like we did earlier this year at the Amgen Tour of California," said Jeff Pierce, USA Cycling director of Elite Athletics. "USA Cycling’s Collegiate program is a great avenue for young riders to develop and has produced great champions in the sport. We are pleased to give these athletes the opportunity to race against a talented international field in a top UCI race."
Hall raced at UC Berkley and is a USA Cycling Collegiate All-Star Alumnus, while O’Neill (University of Arizona) is the 2019 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Champion in the Club division and Runnels (Lindenwood University) is the 2018 Collegiate Cyclocross National Champion and Road bronze medalist.
"I’m so excited to be selected to race the Colorado Classic with the national team," said Runnels, who represented USA Cycling at the 2019 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. "Being able to represent my country in a UCI race is such a special opportunity. When I first started riding bikes I had no idea I’d ever make it to this level. I’m thankful to all my friends and supporters that have helped me along the way."
The six riders who make the team will face a starting line-up that includes eight UCI teams from the US, Italy, Germany, Russia and Mexico. The expected field will include riders from those countries and from Colombia, Chile, Uzbekistan, New Zealand, Switzerland, France, Finland and Cyprus. The final field of teams and rosters of female athletes will be released later this summer.
The four-day race starts August 22 with an opening stage in Steamboat Springs. Stage 2 takes the race to Avon, followed by a stage in Golden and the finale in Denver on August 25.
"With the race’s move to the UCI calendar, we will see a much more international field," said Sean Petty, Colorado Classic race director. "This year’s race will be the most competitive field we’ve had, especially with riders all over the world battling for significant UCI individual and team points and for their country’s Olympic qualification."
The Colorado Classic started in 2017 as a men's four-day race and a women's criterium and road race. The women's race jumped to three stages last year, and organisers announced in the off-season that they were dropping the men's race to focus solely on the women's event in 2019. Organisers RPM Events Group LLC are offering a prize purse nearly four times the 2018 women’s purse and more than the men’s 2018 purse, along with support for team expenses.
The race will also offer free live video streaming coverage each day. The live stream and on-demand replays will be syndicated to fans around the world through cycling and partner websites as well as though Facebook Live and the race’s Tour Tracker mobile app.
Long list for USA Cycling Collegiate All-Star team at Colorado Classic: Charlotte Backus (Fort Lewis College), Madeline Bemis (Milligan College), Anna Christian (University of Colorado Boulder), Clio Dinan (Smith College), Emma Edwards (MIT), Katie Hall (UC Berkley, Collegiate All Star alumnus), Cara O’Neill (University of Arizona), Samantha Runnels (Lindenwood University)
2019 Colorado Classic Teams
ALP Cycles Racing (USA)
Amy D. Foundation (USA)
Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling (RUS)
DNA Cycling (USA)
Fearless Femme (USA)
Hagens Berman / Supermint (USA)
Point S Auto p/b Nokian Tyres
Sho-Air Twenty20 (USA)
Swapit Agolico (MEX)
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
USA Cycling Collegiate All-Star Team (USA)