The Colorado Classic Will Continue To Be A Women’s Only Race

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
American Chloe Dygert-Owen claimed four top spots Saturday Aug. 23 at the Colorado Classic bicycle race’s second stage in Avon: the stage winner, overall race leader, sprint winner and queen of the mountain.

Despite the Colorado Classic touting this year's race as women's only -- and the only one of it's kind in North America -- it received about the same reception as it did in 2018, when the men's race was the main event.

The 220-mile, four-stage race takes place over four days, beginning in Steamboat Springs and ending in Denver, riding through Avon and Golden along the way.

About 30,000 people attended this year's event; the same number it saw in 2018. 300,000 people worldwide live-streamed the event, but that’s down about 100,000 compared to last year. 

For Lucy Diaz, the race's owner and chief operating officer, getting more recognition wasn’t the main goal. The goal was to make it the best race possible for female cyclists and to make sure they feel supported.

“We started from the eyes of the athletes themselves, and treating the female athletes the way that they arguably should be treated, but don’t necessarily always get treated within the sport,” Diaz said. 

That support included a $75,000 grand prize - $5,000 more than the grand prize from last year’s men’s race. 

Diaz is already preparing for the 2020 race, scheduled for Aug. 27 - 30, and said it will stay a women's-only race for the foreseeable future. She is still finalizing which cities will host the competition.

For next year, Diaz hopes to attract more foreign cyclists to bring the race to a more international level.