TNN Gears Up for Inaugural Colorado Classic
03 August 2017
Race: Colorado Classic (August 10 – 13, 2017)
Total Distance: 313 miles, 503.5 kilometers
Race Class: 2.HC
Team Novo Nordisk returns racing in the Rockies when the inaugural Colorado Classic kicks off in Colorado Springs on August 10th. The four-day race will integrate a world-class cycling field with an international music festival.
“While this is a new race, Team Novo Nordisk is familiar with racing in Colorado, which provides steep climbs, fast descents, a dry climate and high elevation,” Team Novo Nordisk General Manager Vassili Davidenko said. “It is a great opportunity to attract new fans to cycling. With the new format featuring a music festival, we expect extra large crowds, but for the riders it will be the same—focus on the race and aim for the best result.”
The high-altitude race includes nearly 6,100 meters (20,000 feet) of vertical climbing with each stage featuring multiple circuit laps to maximize fan engagement. Headlining the music festival over the weekend are Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Old 97’s and the Jayhawks.
The 150-kilometer opening stage includes six laps around Colorado Springs. Stage 2 features six laps totaling 103 km in Breckenridge with highlights including the notorious Moonstone climb and gripping descents down Illinois Gulch. The final two stages take place around downtown Denver. Stage 3 is an out-and-back course to the mountains west of Denver and a return through the Golden Gate Canyon Stage Park. The final day will be a fast 10-lap course throughout Denver.
“The race is shorter than previous Colorado races, but it is a top caliber race with some of the best cyclists from around the globe,” Davidenko said. “All four stages are challenging and require climbing skills and acclimatization to the high elevation. We are bringing a young team and are going in with a day-by-day approach.”
Fourteen teams will contest the UCI 2.HC race including four WorldTour teams. Team Novo Nordisk’s six-man tentative roster includes stagiaire Sam Brand (GBR), Fabio Calabria (AUS), Stephen Clancy (IRL) and neo-pros Reid McClure (CAN), Umberto Poli (ITA) and Rik van IJzendoorn (NED).
Australian rider Calabria lived in Golden, Colorado for several years and is familiar with many of the race’s routes.
“I know a lot of the roads very well and can see it’ll be a challenging and high-paced four days of racing. I’m excited about the new format and think it’ll create a unique and amazing atmosphere,” Calabria said. “For many of the riders, we only have three days to recover between the Tour of Utah and the Colorado Classic. Our aim will be to sleep as much as possible to maximize recovery.”
The race kicks off on Thursday with a 150.4-km course featuring six laps in the shadow of Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods sandstone formations.
Team Novo Nordisk Roster Colorado Classic (Aug 10 – 13)
Stagiaire Sam Brand (GBR), Fabio Calabria (AUS), Stephen Clancy (IRL), Umberto Poli (ITA), Rik van IJzendoorn (NED).
Sport Director: Pavel Cherkasov and Alexander Efimkin.