Colorado Classic organisers haven't been shy about trying new ways to make bicycle racing work in the Centennial State, first pairing their 2.HC men's race and US national calendar women's race with a concert in a 'Velorama' with big-named stars they hoped would attract cross-over fans.
For this year, however, the Velorama was gone and organisers made the unorthodox move of shedding the men's event and investing their funds in a women's-only UCI 2.1 race. Four stages took the international peloton from Steamboat to Avon and Golden before the finale in downtown Denver in the shadow of Coors Stadium.
Chloe Dygert-Owen (Sho-Air Twenty20) swept all four stages, all the jerseys and the overall, but the real winner may have been US women's racing in general as presenting Sponsor VF Corporation decided to return for at least one more year in 2020.
The women raced for a total prize purse of $75,000 this year – $5,000 more than the men did in 2018 – and the race crowdfunded tens of thousands more for primes and local charities during the live video coverage that was broadcast for the entirety of each stage.
In this edition of the Cyclingnews podcast, Kirsten Frattini and Pat Malach discuss impressions of the race and its potential moving forward. We also hear from Sho-Air Twenty20's Allie Dragoo, who retired after the final stage, Boels Dolman's Katie Hall, Israeli champion Omer Shapira, Hagens Berman-Supermint rider/owner Lindsay Goldman, BePink directeur sportif Walter Zini and Colorado Classic race director Sean Petty.
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