Colorado Cycling Challenge
Cancelled due to conditions following fires in Colorado and Wyoming – Longmont, Colorado
A premier cycling festival featuring the best of the Rockies - with something for everyone – rides and races, expo and post-event party.
Boulder County lies hard against the Rocky Mountain foothills and is home to many of America’s top skiers, cyclists, climbers and triathletes. This is where the Race Across America calls home. It’s hard to describe the feeling when we return from a RAAM business trip, crest the hill on US 36 and look out over the Boulder Valley, Flatirons and the snow capped peaks of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area and Rocky Mountain National Park. The riding here is fabulous. Don’t miss out.
Our goal is to promote cycling and the healthy lifestyle though a series of weekend events held across the USA. These events include rides and races for cyclists of all abilities. Each event affords the opportunity for cyclists and others to learn about endurance bicycle racing. And each event includes a race where solo racers may attempt to qualify and teams may tune up for the Race Across America. Sign up and come out for a weekend of fun.
Entry fees and what is included.
A weekend of fun – 3 non-competitive rides (30, 60 and 120 miles), 2 endurance races (200 and 400 miles), an expo and post-event party with awards, entertainment, food and drink. The 120-mile ride is a “Gran Fondo.”
What is a Gran Fondo?A Gran Fondo – Italian for “big ride” – is a long distance, mass participation cycling event – not a race – open to recreational and competitive cyclists. The Gran Fondo falls somewhere between a non-competitive century ride and a road race. All participants are timed. Riders may challenge themselves against the distance or the clock. The top riders compete against each other to finish first. Gran Fondos typically have more challenging courses – ours are no exception. Most importantly, they have big parties after the finish. Participants are usually not in a rush to get home. They regale each other with tales of glory over a hot meal and a cold beverage! Our Gran Fondo is no exception … come on out, ride and party!
Above and beyond a Gran Fondo, the next challenge: an intro into endurance racing!
Start, finish and party at Prospect Park in Longmont, just 15 miles up the Diagonal Highway from the RAAM office. George Thomas, RAAM Race Director, lives on the park and commutes daily by bike. The small park is located on the corner of Tenacity Drive and 100-Year Party Court. Yes … no lie … that’s for real! With a name like that, you gotta come join us. The weekend festivities begin at 4:00 PM on Friday July 27 and end at 3:00 PM on Sunday July 29.
Rides and Races
All rides and races have been designed to showcase the high prairie, front range and high peaks of the Rockies.
Rides. Choose the appropriate length and difficulty. All rides leave Prospect Park and head west toward the Rockies. The 30-mile ride heads west then north to the town of Hygiene and returns through Longmont down the St. Vrain River and up left Hand Creek via bike path to the finish. The 60-mile ride continues beyond Hygiene, up around Carter Lake Reservoir and back. The 120-mile Gran Fondo ride heads up St. Vrain Canyon to Peak-to-Peak Highway and into Estes Park, gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. From there riders will head northeast through Glen Haven before dropping into the Big Thompson Canyon. Nearing the mouth of the Canyon, the route turns north through the foothills to Masonville before heading south back to the finish.
All rides are non-competitive and fully supported with aid stations (food and beverage), bike mechanics on course, bike patrol, traffic control by local law enforcement and SAG support. No personal SAG vehicles will be allowed.
Races. Races are open to solo, 2 and 4-person teams. Both races leave Prospect Park and head west and north to Hygiene. Both races are essentially large loops into the Rocky Mountains.
The 200-mile race follows the 120-mile Gran Fondo route up St. Vrain Canyon, north on the Peak-to-Peak into Estes Park, back down the Big Thompson Canyon and north to Masonville. From here racers continue on north along the ridge on the east flank of Horse Tooth Reservoir, down into Laporte and northeast to Wellington before heading east and south through Greeley, Kersey and Platteville back to the finish. The 200-mile course features 11,000 feet of climbing. The 200-mile racers have 17 hours to finish.
The 400-mile route heads north from Hygiene, up to Carter Lake and on to Masonville. From there riders continue northwest to Stove Prairie and down into the Cache La Poudre River Canyon where they turn west and begin climbing to the high point on the course – Cameron Pass (10, 271’). Riders then drop down into Walden, continue west over the Continental Divide - Rabbit Ears Pass (9,426’) - and down into Steamboat Springs – Ski Town USA. Riders then turn around and climb back up over Rabbit Earsanddown into Walden. There they turn north toward Laramie, Wyoming. Leaving Laramie, the route heads southeast back into Colorado toward Fort Collins. Riders cross the Cache La Poudre at Laporte, climb up past HorsetoothReservoir, following the Foothills south back to the finish. The 400-mile route features 25,000 feet of climbing. The 400-mile racers have 34 hours to finish. The 400-mile race is a RAAM Qualifier.
The races are unsupported. There will be no aid stations or SAG support on the 200 and 400-mile courses. Bikes and support vehicles will be inspected. 200-mile racers may ride randonneur style (without crew), but must notify the Race Director prior to the event. The 400-mile racers must have a support crew. Riders and crew must follow Modified RAAM Rules. There will be race officials to insure compliance with race rules.
Route Maps, profiles and cue sheets
Races will be timed.
Where to Stay
Headquarters hotel and event lodging to be announced.
What to Bring
Colorado is fabulous in August. Skies will almost certainly be clear, although afternoon thunderstorms are common. The air is dry. Down in the flats – elevation 5,000 feet – days will be hot and nights cool. Up high – elevation 8,000+ feet – days will be warm and nights very cool. This is the best time of year to be riding in the mountains. Be prepared for wide ranging temperatures. We don’t expect rain, but bring your rain gear just in case.
Event Store: Purchase Cycling Challenge merchandise at our on-line Store.
A portion of the proceeds from the Colorado Cycling Challenge will be donated to non-profit organizations – to be announced.
The Colorado Cycling Challenge is produced by Soul Events in conjunction with the Race Across America (RAAM). To learn more about RAAM visit raceacrossamerica.org . To learn more about Soul Events visit souleventsusa.com.