Deep Pockets, Big Plans Could Bring New Bike Race To Colorado

Listen Now
Photo: Colorado bike race
Bruno Pires of Portugal rides through the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs during the USA Pro Challenge in August, 2011.

For five years, top international cyclists raced over towering mountain passes and flashed through Colorado towns in the week-long USA Pro Challenge.

But while it drew roughly a million spectators a year, the Pro Challenge never made money. This year, its backers shut down the race.

Now a new group of investors, including the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame and the heir to a Colorado sporting goods dynasty, want to try a new approach. They've announced plans for a four-day competition that could start next year.

If the race succeeds, though, it will be bucking a trend: Similar contests across the country have failed because of high costs and low returns.

Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner spoke with Fred Dreier, editor of Boulder-based Velo News, about plans for the new race and the challenges it would face.