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Vail time trial returns for Colorado Classic

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A Novo Nordisk rider leaves the start house during the Vail time trial at the USA Pro Challenge

A Novo Nordisk rider leaves the start house during the Vail time trial at the USA Pro Challenge (Image credit: Michael Aisner)
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Fans lines the route of the Vail time trial at the USA Pro Challenge

Fans lines the route of the Vail time trial at the USA Pro Challenge (Image credit: Getty Images)
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A rider makes his way through spectators at the Vail time trial during the USA Pro Challenge

A rider makes his way through spectators at the Vail time trial during the USA Pro Challenge (Image credit: Getty Images)
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A rider makes his way through spectators at the Vail time trial during the USA Pro Challenge

A rider makes his way through spectators at the Vail time trial during the USA Pro Challenge (Image credit: Getty Images)
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A rider makes his way through Vail Village during the USA Pro Challenge

A rider makes his way through Vail Village during the USA Pro Challenge (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tejay van Garderen competes in the Vail time trial.

Tejay van Garderen competes in the Vail time trial. (Image credit: Getty Images)
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An enthusiastic fan runs ahead of Ivan Basso during the Vail time trial at the USA Pro Challenge

An enthusiastic fan runs ahead of Ivan Basso during the Vail time trial at the USA Pro Challenge (Image credit: Getty Images)
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A Hincapie rider makes his way to the top of Vail Pass

A Hincapie rider makes his way to the top of Vail Pass (Image credit: Getty Images)
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A jelly Belly rider takes off from the start house in Vail during stage 5 at the USA Pro Challenge

A jelly Belly rider takes off from the start house in Vail during stage 5 at the USA Pro Challenge (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tejay van Garderen makes his way to the top of Vail Pass during the USA Pro Challenge

Tejay van Garderen makes his way to the top of Vail Pass during the USA Pro Challenge (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Vail hosted a circuit race during the Coors Classic

Vail hosted a circuit race during the Coors Classic (Image credit: Michael Aisner)
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Map of the Vail time trial for the 2018 Colorado Classic

Map of the Vail time trial for the 2018 Colorado Classic (Image credit: Courtesy of Colorado Classic)
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Map of the Vail circuit race for the 2018 Colorado Classic

Map of the Vail circuit race for the 2018 Colorado Classic (Image credit: Courtesy of Colorado Classic)
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Bernard Hinault racing in Vail during the Coors Classic

Bernard Hinault racing in Vail during the Coors Classic (Image credit: Michael Aisner)

The legendary Vail time trial that dates back to the Red Zinger Classic in the 1970s - and which saw the likes of Greg Lemond, Andy Hampsten and Bernard Hinault compete on the route to the top of Vail Pass during the Coors Classic in the '80s - will return for the 2018 Colorado Classic, organisers announced today. 

The 21.1km individual time trial will follow a stage 1 circuit race around Vail Village, according to today's announcement.

"Professional bike racing is in the DNA of Vail," said David Koff, CEO of RPM Events Group, the organisation that puts on the race. 

Professional bike racing last visited Vail for the USA Pro Challenge in 2014, when Tejay van Garderen won the stage 6 race against the clock on his way to winning the overall for the second consecutive year. Van Garderen also won the Vail time trial stage in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge.

Spectators greeted the Vail time trial stage with abandon both years, dressing up for the day and greeting the passing riders with a bubble machine, sound system and dance party.

The time trial route starts in Vail Village and quickly winds its way through the urban environment onto the slops of Vail Pass, which tops out at 3,171 metres after climbing more than 780 metres. In 2014, van Garderen (BMC Racing) beat Garmin's Tom Danielson by 53 seconds, covering the course in 24:26, more than half a minute faster than the previous year.

The map organisers released today shows a time trial course that is 5km longer than the 16.1km route riders faced in 2013 and 2014. The listed elevation for the 2018 finish is also more than 225 metres higher. A race spokesman told Cyclingnews organisers will release more route information next month.

The opening-day circuit race loops through the heart of Vail Village, starting at Solaris and finishing at the Vail Athletic Field near Golden Peak. Riders will cover eight laps of the 14km course.

Following the stage 2 time trial, the Colorado Classic will travel to Denver for the final two stages on Saturday and Sunday, with the start/ finish and criterium at Velorama Festival in the RiNo Art District.

The second annual Colorado Classic - a UCI-sanctioned 2.HC race won by BMC Racing's Manuel Senni last year - will take place August 16-19.