After attracting more than 1 million spectators in 2011, making it one of the largest cycling events in U.S. history, the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge race will travel through 12 host cities from Durango to Denver August 20-26. Featuring a challenging, 683-mile course with more than 42,000 ft. of vertical climbing, the race will spotlight the best of the best in professional cycling and some of America’s most beautiful scenery.
Colorado is not new to Cycling nor is cycling new to Colorado. Did you know that cycling was a favorite during the Pioneer days? Dating back to 1869, the bicycle was used in Colorado for: Commuting, Recreation, Touring, and Exercise, as well as becoming the focus of a new group of Social Clubs. Check out more on the the original history of cycling in Colorado here at the Wheel Men.
In 1975, Mo Siegel and John and Wyck Hay, founders of the Celestial Seasonings herbal tea company, launched the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic race to promote alternative transportation in the Greater Boulder area, particularly bike lanes, bike paths, and community awareness. The Classic was named after their popular Red Zinger tea. From 1981-1992 a youth bicycling series called the Red Zinger Mini Classics was held in Colorado, its name inspired by the original Red Zinger Bicycle Classic, inspiring a generation of young cyclists to enter the sport. In 1979, Michael Aisner, the race’s then PR director, bought the race for one dollar from Siegel, and with his blessing took the idea of a grander event to Peter Coors. Thus, the Coors International Bicycle Classic.
The Coors International Bicycle Classic (1980–1988) was a stage race sponsored by the Coors Brewing Company (obviously). Over the years, the event became America’s national tour, listed as the fourth largest race in the world after the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. As mentioned above, the race grew from 3 days of racing in its first years as the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic to 2 weeks in the Coors Classic years. Race stages were first held in Colorado in the early years expanding first from Boulder and Denver back to the Keystone ski resort, later adding Estes Park, Vail, Aspen and Grand Junction, before further expansion that included Wyoming, Nevada, California and Hawaii. In every year (but the last) the race concluded with a short circuit in North Boulder Park.
On August 4, 2010 Colorado governor Bill Ritter and cycling legend Lance Armstrong announced that they would revive stage racing in Colorado with the Quiznos Pro Challenge, an 8-day race first held in August 2011. As we all know, this is the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and with over a million spectators is one of the largest cycling events in U.S. history and it happens right here in our own back yard.
These great Colorado cycling events are on the front pages of our news and history. However, while all of this was going on in the forefront, some of Colorado’s truly amazing event directors were providing us (the general public – cyclist) with ways to experience a piece of this for ourselves. This year (2012) marked the 25th year of the Elephant Rock Ride…That’s right, 25 years! With over 7,000 participants, this is the largest cycling festival in the front range region and one of the top 10 in the country…it has become an “institution”. Watch the video of the Elephant Rock History. Colorado is the cyclists playground with many events like the Elephant Rock Ride, Deer Creek Challenge, Denver Century Ride, Copper Triangle, Triple bypass, Moonlight Classic just to scratch the surface. In addition, our state is home to more bike lanes, trails, paths, parks, and clubs than I can count…as well as the great B-Cycle and Free Cycle programs that we have access to.
With all of this, it’s no wonder that Colorado’s towns/cities made the list in Bicycling’s Top 50, as well as Outside magazines top bike towns…among others. We are also home to some of the best in the sport from Davis and Taylor Phinney, Tom Danielson (originally from Connecticut), Danny Summerhill, Bob Shaver (Shaver Sports) and others.
Colorado has a rich cycling history, a great cycling present and with the amazing future ahead, it is something that has to be tried, tested and “Xperienced” for yourself…remember, you are not a tourist, but an active participant. Xperience Colorado cycling today!
May 9, 2011—Los Angeles, CA – Universal Sports presents a special report on Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt, who tragically died today after a horrific crash on a difficult descent late in Stage 3 at the Giro d’Italia. Coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET in place of the network’s originally scheduled replay of today’s stage 3. In tribute of Weylandt, the network will air a “Special Stage 3 Report” about today’s events as a lead-in to the re-air of Weylandt’s first-ever Grand Tour win at last year’s Giro d’Italia. Weylandt, a member of the Leopard-Trek team, was the first rider killed in a crash in one of cycling’s three main tours since Italian Fabio Casartelli died during the 1995 Tour de France. Wouter Weylandt was 26-years-old.
The “Special Stage 3 Report” is hosted by Universal Sports anchor Steve Schlanger and cycling expert Todd Gogulski. The show will provide viewers insight on what this tragedy means for the remaining stages of the 2011 Giro d’Italia and reactions from major cyclists via twitter, including Lance Armstrong and Mark Cavendish. The coverage will also feature a video chat with Velonews Europen Correspondent Andrew Hood, and his interview with Garmin-Cervelo Team Director Bingen Fernandez, one of the first people on the scene.
**ABOUT UNIVERSAL SPORTS:
Universal Sports, a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic-related sports programming in the United States. Universal Sports is available in 52 markets nationwide, including all of the nation’s top 10 media markets and 20 of the top 25. Major world championship sports events aired on Universal Sports include track and field, skiing, swimming, gymnastics, marathons, figure skating, cycling and rugby. The network’s website, UniversalSports.com, delivers an immersive user experience via live and on-demand competition coverage, interaction with top athletes through interviews and blogs and in-depth access to Olympic sports news and information year-round. For more information, please visit UniversalSports.com.
The Quiznos Pro Challenge will officially announce multiple television broadcast partners for the inaugural professional cycling competition at a press conference held at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver on Tuesday, April 5, 2011.
The 2011 Quiznos Pro Challenge is an international pro-cycling event set to take place in Colorado August 22-28, 2011. Announced by legendary road-racing cyclist Lance Armstrong, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, and race officials on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol on August 4, 2010, the seven-day Quiznos Pro Challenge is expected to be the largest spectator event in Colorado history and one of the largest sporting events to ever take place in the United States.
Who: John Hickenlooper – Colorado Governor
Bill Ritter – Former Colorado Governor
Rick Schaden – Quiznos Pro Challenge owner and co-chairman
Shawn Hunter – Quiznos Pro Challenge co-chairman
Paul Sherwen – Former professional cyclist and broadcaster
World-class professional cyclists
When: Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Media are advised to arrive by 9:15 AM
Where: Colorado State Capitol - West Foyer
200 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80203
Contact: Allison McGee Johnson
10 International Cycling Teams Set their Sights on America’s Most Demanding Professional Bike Race
March 15, 2011, Denver – The Quiznos Pro Challenge™ today announced five new teams confirmed to compete in the inaugural 2011 competition, including Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Pro Team Leopard Trek (Luxembourg), and UCI Professional Continental teams UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA), Team Type 1-sanofi aventis (USA), Skil-Shimano (Netherlands) and Team Spidertech Powered By C10 (Canada). These teams will join previously announced Team RadioShack (USA), HTC-Highroad (USA), Team Garmin-Cervélo (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA), and Liquigas-Cannondale (Italy) at the starting line in August.
“We are excited to have secured commitments from such world-class teams in the competition’s first year,” said Shawn Hunter, co-chairman of the Quiznos Pro Challenge. “We’ve set high goals for this race and the addition of these teams shows great promise for our future and cycling in the United States.”
The newly announced teams include some of the most exciting riders in the world, including Olympic gold medalist Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), seasoned veteran Stuart O’Grady (Australia), and 2008 World Cycling Championships silver medalist Svein Tuft (Canada). In total, the Quiznos Pro Challenge will host as many as 128 professional cyclists from 16 teams for the 2011 competition. The specific riders who will participate in the Quiznos Pro Challenge will be named in the coming months.
Leopard Trek (Luxembourg)
Leopard Trek is a new team led by Luxembourgish brothers Andy Schleck and Fränk Schleck, with Brian Nygaard as team manager. There are 11 nations represented on the roster, drawing fans from every region of the world. Olympic Gold Medalist Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), 2010 Mountains Classification Tour Down Under winner Thomas Rohregger (Austria), and veteran Stuart O’Grady (Australia) highlight this diverse group.
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team is owned and operated by Calif.-based Momentum Sports Group, which is led by Directeur Sportif Mike Tamayo, President Thierry Attias, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Raifman. UnitedHealthcare’s prominent past includes becoming the number one team in North America in its second year, then defending the title for five consecutive years. In 2005, the team produced the single greatest season in North American cycling history, winning half of all National Racing Calendar (NRC) competitions, capturing 68 podium places in 63 individual NRC race days; sweeping the U.S. PRO, Philadelphia series, California series, and the New York Grand Prix. The Team’s 17 riders represent seven countries, with six riders hailing from the United States.
Team Type 1-sanofi aventis (USA)
Team Type 1 is the world’s only professional cycling team with a roster that includes riders who have Type 1 diabetes. In 2009, Team Type 1 won 55 races, finished fourth in the NRC standings and captured the King of the Mountains title at five races, including the Tour of Missouri. In two seasons, the squad has registered 100 victories and 219 podium (top three) finishes.
Six of Team Type 1′s professional cyclists have type 1 diabetes: Martijn Verschoor (Netherlands), Fabio Calabria (Australia), Javier Megias (Spain), Joe Eldridge (USA), Alex Bowden (USA) and Olaf Kerkhof (Netherlands). In addition to several Americans, the team has many international riders hailing from Italy, Russia, Slovenia and the Ukraine.
Skil-Shimano is managed and owned by Iwan Spekenbrink, with sports team managers Rudi Kemna, Christian Guiberteau, Merijn Zeeman, and Piet Hoekstra. Based in Holland, the team features Koen de Kort (Holland), who finished ninth overall in the 2010 Tour of Britain; 2010 Tour de Normandie champion Ronan van Zandbeek (Holland); 2009 German road race champion Martin Reimer (Germany); 2008 Olympic silver medal winner at the Omnium Roger Kluge (Germany), multiple Tour de France participant and third in the Tour de France’s youngster classification (2006) Matthieu Sprick (France); German (2009 and 2010) and European (2009) U23 time trial champion and U23 bronze winner at the 2010 World Championships time trial Marcel Kittel; and Yukihiro Doi (Japan), who finished ninth overall in the 2010 Tour of Hainan.
Team Spidertech Powered By C10 (Canada)
Co-founded by Steve Bauer in 2007, Team SpiderTech powered by C10 is Canada’s first Continental Professional Cycling Team. The 2011 roster boasts 19 world-class riders including 2010 Canadian Road Champion Will Routley (Canada), 2008 World Cycling Championships silver medalist and 2010 Eneco Tour prologue winner Svein Tuft (Canada), and Lucas Euser (USA).
About the Quiznos Pro Challenge
The Quiznos Pro Challenge is the most demanding professional bike race ever held in America, with racers experiencing breathless altitudes and nearly 600 mountain miles, for seven straight days. The inaugural 2011 Quiznos Pro Challenge will take place August 22-28, and it is expected to be the largest spectator event ever held in Colorado. The race travels through some of the world’s most famous and beautiful destinations, including Aspen, Vail, Avon, Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge. 128 of the world’s best professional cyclists from 16 teams, including Team RadioShack, HTC-Highroad, Team Garmin-Cervélo, BMC Racing Team, Liquigas-Cannondale, Team Leopard Trek, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, Team Type 1-sanofi aventis, Skil-Shimano, and Team Spidertech Powered By C10 will be put to the test like never before.
The competition, destined to become the most coveted prize in cycling, brings the high speeds, danger and adrenaline of professional cycling to heights more than two miles in elevation, across some of the most picturesque terrain in the world—the Colorado Rocky Mountains. In the months leading up to the race, and throughout the live event, fans worldwide will be able to track their favorite cyclists like never before with the most advanced, interactive online, smartphone and broadcast television experience presented to date in professional cycling.
To keep in touch with the latest news and updates on the Quiznos Pro Challenge, visit www.quiznosprochallenge.com and follow the race on Twitter @qprochallenge or on Facebook.
On January 25th, 2011, we posted an article about the Quizno’s pro Challenge. It appears that we “Jumped the gun” on the actual participants of the teams that were announced.
According to Rogers & Cowan (the company handling PR for the upcoming Quiznos Pro Challenge), “While Lance, Levi and Taylor generally do compete for those teams, no riders have been confirmed to compete in QPC at this time.”
We have corrected the article so that you may continue to shared it with others. We sincerely apologize for our error as it is our intent to provide accurate information. We will continue to accurately report what we learn about this great event as we receive our information directly from Rogers & Cowan.
I remember when I was younger and growing up in Boulder, my dad taking us to watch the Red Zinger. Even though I did not know any of the racers, I certainly can recall the excitement of this race. By now you have heard the announcement made by Lance Armstrong and Governor Ritter of the Quizno’s Pro Challenge, the 600 mile, six stage road race coming to Colorado this August 2011.
This is a great opportunity for Colorado, especially with the potential $38 million dollar economic impact and almost a million spectators that it is expected to bring. Cycling has come a long way since the red Zinger and I believe Colorado is the perfect home for such an event. The stage race starts in Colorado Springs and will take the cyclists through Salida, Crested Butte/Mount Crested Butte, Gunnison, Aspen, Vail, Avon, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge and Golden and will finish in Denver.
Here is some news that could bring you into the heart of this historic event…The organizers have said that they may need as much as 4,000 volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can learn more and even apply at: http://www.quiznosprochallenge.com/.
So far, five of the sixteen teams have been announced, among them are the Radio Shack Team, the Garmin-Cervelo Team which is a team based right here in Boulder as well as the BMC Team.
Although I am not an avid cyclist (beginner at best), I am excited to see this opportunity come to our own back yard. This will be “THE” event to Xperience in 2011…see you there!