Published 10:30 a.m. | Updated 12:52 p.m.
The Colorado Classic pro-cycling race is making a big change ahead of its third year.
Guys, step aside. The 2019 Classic will only feature a women's cycling race.
The move means the Colorado Classic will become the only stand-alone women's event in the western hemisphere along the Union Cycliste Internationale calendar and USA Cycling's pro tour.
Women will compete for a cash prize that's nearly four times larger than last year's purse, and larger than the men's 2018 prize.
Organizers said the sole focus on women's races will lead to better and more challenging routes, and hope that the Colorado Classic will become the premiere pit stop to the 2019 UCI Road World Championships and the 2020 Olympics.
“With women’s cycling, we saw the greatest opportunity to fulfill our mission to create a world-class race in Colorado that is socially impactful,” RPM Events Group chairman Ken Gart said in a statement. “By creating one great race instead of two average ones, we can shine a bright light on Colorado and pro women’s racing while affecting meaningful social change.”
The women's race was already more competitive than the men's at the Colorado Classic, officials said. Now the Colorado Classic has the means to enhance the event even further, Gart said.
"Our ability to impact men's cycling really was very minimal. Our potential to impact women's cycling around the globe, we think is really dramatic," Gart said.
Professional cyclist Ruth Winder of Boulder said she hopes the event will draw female cyclists from across the world.
"To have this event in Colorado is special to me because I live in Colorado," Winder said. "I really hope lots of Europeans see it and also want to come over and race, which I really think that might happen."
Other changes coming to the Classic include free live streams and on-demand replays of the races.
The 2019 Colorado Classic will take place Aug. 22-25, 2019.
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