The Colorado Classic has been resurrected after a one year hiatus. The unique entertainment format looks to repackage how we consume pro bike racing and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

Colorado has a rich cycling history. In 1975 Mo Seigel and Wyck Hay launched the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic. In 1980 Michael Aisner took over race ownership and the race morphed into the Coors Classic. In 14 editions the race launched careers of multiple generations of America’s best cyclists. The legacy of the Red Zinger and Coors Classic live on to this day. Slipstream sports the management company of World Tour team Cannondale-Drapac is based in Boulder, team owner and CEO Jonathan Vaughters got his start in the Red Zinger youth races.
Current World Tour pros like Taylor Phinney and Peter Stetina have parents and relatives who’s pedigree in American Cycling started in the Colorado race(s). USA Cycling is headquartered in Colorado Springs. Canadian legends like Steve Bauer, Hugh Walton, Alex Steida and Ron Hayman have strong roots with the classic races in Colorado.

Bauer is also attending this year’s race in his position of Director of VIP Services for World Tour team BMC.

The heart and soul of American Cycling lives in Colorado. The state embraces the sport like no other. US Cycling was devastated by news the race was cancelled in early 2016.

2017 Race Photography by Brian Hodes, Veloimages

Stage one took place in the Garden of the Gods park. The stunning scenery was made more dramatic by the weather the mix of rain, sun and storm clouds.

Silber Roster for Velorama

Crowds in Colorado are simply… massive.

Nigel rode a savvy and aggressive race on stage two. Marking the break and riding to 19th place on the tough stage in Breckenridge – where altitude exceeded 3,000m.

Colorado crowds

Twenty-one year old Albertan Sara Poidevin put on a dominant display of climbing in the women’s race. Isolated in a front group of elite climbers, she dropped her competitors one by one to win solo by two minutes. She won the Breckenridge stage, the overall race and all classifications (Sprint, KOM, Young Rider). It was thrilling for us to see a fellow Canadian put on a great show. Bravo Sara!.

Poidevin win

We took a cautious approach to stage one. Under the experienced direction of Gord Fraser our plan was intentionally conservative. Gord knew Breckenridge would be decisive and the altitude would take its toll – It was a smart call. Julien, Nigel and Alec all rode very well in stage two. Alec sits second in the young rider classification. Alec is tied on overall time with Axeon’s Jonathan Narvaez and 1’50” ahead of Justin Oien – racing for the Spanish Pro Continetal team Caja Rural.


Sidenote: Alec is from Calgary Alberta, where he grew up riding in the youth programs run by Alberta Cycling Association head coach Phil Abbott. He has spent plenty of cold Alberta winter days on a Turbo Trainer riding beside Sara and current team-mate Kris Dahl in the dungeons of the Calgary Olympic Park.

Cowan stage 2

NIgel in break stage 2

The racing during the new Velorama Colorado Classic takes part on similar courses to the historic Coors Classic. While the courses reflect the rich history of racing in Colorado, the race is not a reboot of the former races.

In addition to a focus on downtown circuits — there are no point-to-point routes — the Colorado Classic will feature six-man teams, making it difficult for any team to control the race, similar to this year’s other innovative new race format, Velon’s Hammer Series, which featured five-man squads selected from seven interchangeable riders. In total, there will be only 96 riders in the men’s peloton, and 84 in the women’s peloton.
Read more on → CyclingTips.com

The Velorama Festival blends music, bikes and street festivals into a unique format. While we’re here to race and race well, we’re also thinking of catching one of the concerts: Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Saint Motel… Velorama has lined up some amazing bands.

Wilco

In total 4 World Tour teams and 5 Pro Continental teams make up over half the 16 team, 96 rider field. It’s the most competitive field in North American racing after the World Tour races in California, Quebec and Montreal.
After stage 2, American TJ Eisenhart – riding for the Holowesko-Citadel team – leads the race by 1 second with two Stages to go. Four riders sit within 30 seconds of the race lead. Silber’s Nigel Ellsay is 19th overall, 3’11” behind Eisenhart.

Full results → procyclingstats.com

One more stage, stay tuned for more photos and updates. Follow the team on Twitter
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Ryan Roth - 2017 Colorado Classic

Ryan Roth is Silber’s most experienced and accomplished rider. He plays a special role in the team, delivering results and mentoring his younger team-mates into robust, accountable athletes. His contributions to the team are invaluable.

By stage three the toll is starting to show on the faces of the riders. The race formula has worked, short hard stages + reduced team sizes has created aggressive, unpredictable racing. The weather has been equally unpredictable and has complicated the racing. It has been slower for the teams and Directors to get information – favouring the strong opportunists. On stage 3, BMC’s Manuel Senni and Jelly Belly’s Serghei Tvetcov escaped, and used a wet treacherous descent to create a gap they would hold to the line.

The GC turns over, and Senni now leads by 15 seconds over Tvetcov. Overnight leader Eisenhart sits 34 seconds back on the overall. Nigel and Alec suffer on this stage and finish in the large main group 13 minutes behind stage winner Tvetcov. A GC hope for Nigel and Young Rider classification for Alec seem out of reach…

The final stage was a predominantly flat 12km circuit in downtown Denver. The race completed 10 laps for a total of 120km. With only 4 riders starting the last day, we knew getting a top result would be tough. The riders started with a plan to infiltrate the early break and support Alec in the likelihood of a sprint.

“It was hard to predict that the break would form off the start line. I can understand our missing the move.” recounted Gord.

Once settled in the boys rode together until a very late puncture complicated the mission for Alec. A technical circuit hindered Alec’s progress through the cars and he expended all his energy getting back to the field at five kilometers to go. He did not have the energy to follow his waiting teammates up to get a result.

It was a disappointing end to a learning week for the team. Nigel continues to show he’s on the cusp of following the very best and is always willing to risk his GC spot by searching strong breaks.

“The teams ride in Breckinridge in particular was encouraging and we look to build on home roads in Alberta to really show how we’ve grown as a team and what we are capable of.
Gord Fraser – Team Director
The Team

Written by The Team

We started our first season as a UCI continental team in 2014. It's been a whirlwind ride and we couldn't have done it without the support of our great partners.

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