DENVER — Organizers of the Colorado Classic presented by VF Corporation announced Friday that the 2020 race has been canceled.
The four-day, professional cycling race was scheduled to open Thursday, Aug. 27 and wrap on Sunday, Aug. 30.
"Despite our fierce commitment to creating a safe, live racing model and advancing the sport of professional women’s cycling, our four-day race will not take place this year, due to COVID safety concerns," said a statement from the Colorado Classic.
> Above video: Chloe Dygert-Owen wins 2019 Colorado Classic
Organizers of the 2020 Colorado Classic will now focus on hosting the #WeRide for Women fundraiser and virtual ride.
"This campaign is intended to financially support the teams who would have attended the Colorado Classic, many of whom rely on competition and prize money to support their livelihoods," said race organizers. "For the next two weeks, fans, industry and sponsors will have the opportunity to donate to the #WeRide Team Development fund — which will be directly distributed to the women's race teams — and join the teams on a Zwift ride on Wednesday, July 29."
The virtual ride will be held Wednesday, July 29 at 6 p.m. with more than 16 professional cyclists. Donations can be made at ColoradoClassic.com to be divvied out to the teams in August.
“We had great confidence in the COVID-19 mitigation plan we had developed for the race, and we were well on our way to becoming the first professional women’s bike race to be held in the U.S. since the onset of the COVID pandemic,” said Lucy Diaz, CEO of RPM Events Group LLC.
“However, as the pandemic appears to be spiking again across the U.S., and after discussion with our various stakeholders, we feel it is the most prudent decision to cancel the race for 2020," said Diaz. "We would only hold the race if we thought it was a safe, healthy environment for the athletes and that all stakeholders felt fully comfortable to move forward. At this time we do not have full confidence from all stakeholders, so we will pivot our energy and efforts to continue to support the women’s peloton through our other initiatives."
“This was an incredibly hard decision, but it was the right one to make. We are so grateful for all of our partners who have supported us this year and continued to believe in our mission. It has been an extraordinary year, with extraordinary challenges, and it has taken a complete effort from everyone to find a way forward,” said Ken Gart, Chairman of RPM Events Group.
The 2020 Colorado Classic was to be staged in Snowmass Village, Avon, Boulder and Denver this summer in the second year of a women's-only format.
Colorado Classic organizers say that the first year of the format was an “overwhelming success” in 2019.
More than 30,000 fans watched the 2019 Colorado Classic, according to organizers. The race, which featured a dominating performance by overall champion Chloe Dygert-Owen, coursed through Steamboat Springs, Avon, Golden and Denver.
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