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Colorado Classic:
Aug. 10 race thrilling for bicycling fans, may be chilling for Westside residents

       The first-time Colorado Classic race is sure to have cyclists going fast, but the effect will be local traffic going slow during the day-long event Thursday, Aug. 10.
       Colorado Springs will host Stage 1 of the four-stage competition, which, between the morning women's and the afternoon men's races, will pedal a 15.58-mile circuit eight times, using mostly Westside streets (see map, below right).

A map shows the route "lap" that will be used by both the men and women cyclists in separate races in the Colorado Classic Aug. 10. The women will ride two laps, the men six.
Courtesy of the Sports Corp (posted online at coloradoclassic-cos.org)

       The women's race will start at 10 a.m., the men's race at 1:10 p.m. The start and finish will be downtown.
       Advance traffic information shows that all the streets into and out of the Garden of the Gods city park will be closed from midnight until 5 p.m. (except for Garden Drive from Black Canyon Road to Garden Lane).
       Police plan to close the following streets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
       - Colorado Avenue from Tejon Street to 30th Street.
       - 30th St from Colorado to Fontanero Street.
       - Pikes Peak Avenue from 29th Street to Ridge Road.
       - 30th St. from Gateway Road to Mesa Road.
       - Mesa Road from 30th to Fontmore Road.
       - Fontmore from Mesa to N. 30th.
       - 29th from Pikes Peak to Colorado.
       Six crossing points have been designated, where people will be allowed to cross when there are significant gaps between riders. These are:
       - 30th and Glen Eyrie Circle (near King Street).
       - Colorado Avenue at 14th, 21st and 26th streets.
       - 30th and Bijou.
       - Pikes Peak at 31st.
       According to Doug Martin, whose local Colorado Sports Corp is coordinating Stage 1, the Classic is “essentially a reincarnation of the U.S. Pro Challenge,” which attracted internationally known riders/teams, lasted from 2011 to 2015 and included stages in the Springs three of those years.
       Many riders from that talent level are expected to be among the 100-plus competitors in this year's event, which is owned by the Denver-area RPM Events Group.
       The difference in the Classic is that, instead of riders wheeling from town to town for a stage, they will repeat circuits in one location. This costs less money for traffic control and focuses the cyclists where the most fans are, Martin explained. “It's a lot better from a spectator standpoint.”
       The second stage of the Classic will be in Breckenridge, the last two in Denver.
       Long-time Westside advocate Welling Clark has urged race organizers to do as much as they can to publicize the road-closure information. “Local stakeholders that will be directly and negatively affected must have a seat at the table prior to the final decision on closures and routes,” he said. Otherwise, a large-scale street bike event “results in angering the resident/business community at the bicycle enthusiasts (rightly or wrongly so) for forcing these types of events down their throats.”
       Martin said that event organizers are trying to spread the word. “We've started the process of notifying community neighborhood organizers along the route.”
       In a race-related note, Martin said that volunteer marshals are needed. For more information, the e-mail is info@thesportscorp.org.

Westside Pioneer article