Steamboat Stage Race rides again this weekend
Event hopes for 400 riders, including 80 pro cyclists
2015 Steamboat Stage Race
Stage 1, Saturday: Time trial, Colorado Highway 131 to River Road, starting at 11 a.m.
Stage 2, Sunday: Road race, 80, 62 and 48 miles, on Twentymile Road and Routt County Road 27, starting at 7:30 a.m.
Stage 3, Monday: Downtown criterium closing down Oak, Fourth, Eighth and Pine streets starting at 7:15 a.m. and finishing at 5:30 p.m.
Steamboat Springs — The USA Pro Challenge largely shutdown Steamboat Springs for two days and sent some of the best riders in the world rolling down local roads.
The Steamboat Stage Race hopes not to leave nearly the same footprint but to still offer three days of some of the best road bicycle racing Colorado has to offer.
The annual three-day event has become a Labor Day weekend staple in Steamboat and returns Saturday, Sunday and Monday for its sixth ride.
“Our event is unique because it’s open to everyone from professionals down to first-time racers,” director Corey Piscopo said, “but regardless of ability, it’s a very challenging event. It’s three days of racing on some really hard courses.”
The race begins Saturday with a time trial in and around Steamboat Springs, running down Colorado Highway 131, turning around on Routt County Road 14 and returning to town on River Road, 13 total miles.
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Sunday the riders will tackle a long road race, 80 miles for the pro divisions. They’ll start on 13th street in town, race out toward Twentymile Coal Mine, then log most of their miles on county road 27, first toward Hayden, then with a turnaround and back toward Oak Creek, and finally with one more turnaround that will take riders back to Steamboat.
On Sunday, riders will tackle a criterium in downtown Steamboat Springs, riding laps around Fourth, Oak, Eighth and Pine streets.
“Out by the coal mine, those are probably some of the most punishing roads in Colorado that racers will participate in a race on,” Piscopo said.
The race has settled into attracting about 400 riders annually, divided up into more than a dozen age, gender and skill classifications. About 80 elite racers are expected for the pro divisions, and that field should be comprised of some of the very best cyclists from around the state, including Steamboat Springs’ own pro cyclist Amy Charity.
“Unlike the Pro Challenge, we won’t get full professional teams, but we do get one or two riders from different national teams, as well as riders from a lot of Colorado-based pro teams,” Piscopo said. “We’re about the second tier for high-level racers, so there will be some guys from BMC, one of the big national teams, but also some regional guys. It should be a good mix.”
The only road closures associated the event will come with Monday’s criterium race.
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