Professional Cycling Returns To The Centennial State With The Colorado Classic; Expect Road Closures

The Colorado Classic takes off from Colorado Springs Thursday, bringing nearly 175 professional cyclists from around the world to the Centennial State.  Colorado Springs hosts the first leg, with the women's race kicking off mid-morning Thursday, and the start of the men's race set for the afternoon.  Both starts take place downtown at Tejon and Pikes Peak, with peak road closures occurring on Thursday along the route between downtown and Garden of the Gods.

As of 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, the north side of Pikes Peak Avenue between Tejon and Nevada has been closed and is expected to reopen by midnight Thursday into Friday.  Additional sections of Pikes Peak, as well as portions of Tejon in downtown Colorado Springs, begin closing Wednesday.  Garden of the Gods will close at 11:00 Wednesday night.

The Colorado Springs Sports Corporation has a complete list of closures and times, and says real-time updates can be seen through the Waze app for iPhones and Android devices.

Residents of the Pleasant Valley neighborhood and near Mesa Rd., among others along the route, will be allowed in and out, though delays are expected.

This inaugural Colorado Classic is the first time since 2015 that professional cyclists have raced the roads of Colorado. The USA Pro Challenge, a multi-stage professional cycling event that started in 2011, ended four years later, after its 2015 race.  Previously, the Coors Classic ran in Colorado during the 1980s.

Thursday's first stage in Colorado Springs covers nearly 94 miles through six laps, running between downtown and Garden of the Gods.  Stage 2 sends the cyclists to Breckenridge on Friday, with ten laps covering a total of nearly 65 miles, including more than 7,000 feet of climbing.  Friday marks the end of the women's race. 

Stage 3 for the men takes place in Denver on a contested 81-mile route, before finishing up with Stage 4, a circuit ride for a total of nearly 75 miles.

Events in Colorado Springs associated with the race get underway Wednesday, including opening remarks from Governor John Hickenlooper and a gala.