Friday, May 23, 2008

Bolder Bolder - Guerilla Style

If you are going to be tackling the Boulder Boulder this weekend look for us around the festivities at the finish line. We will be there in full guerrilla attire handing out stickers and Colorado Stage SWAG getting people excited for the race.

Since we don't have our official merchandise printed yet, if you come say hello and let us know you read our blog I will personally give you the Stage hat off my head.

Paul - VVF Marketing

Formal Team Invitations

Formal Team Invitations are going out next week. We can't give you too many details yet... but, we can tell you a bit about the process.

Being a new event we are faced with some unique challenges when figuring out which teams we want and need to invite. If money was no object it would be simple, send invites out to 15 Pro Tour Teams. However, this is not the case. We are playing a giant chess match with invites... and budgets do play a role in this game.

One of the difficulties in coming up with an invite list is balancing a number of things such as budgets, UCI requirements, team schedule, and providing the highest level of competition we can. The Tour de France has it easy; everyone wants to be there and will do anything to make that happen. As a first year event we don’t have that luxury. We need to convince the Pro Tour teams that they should come to our race. Given that our event falls smack dab in the middle of the European racing calendar it’s a tough thing to do.

We are targeting a small number of Pro Tour teams and Pro Continental teams that we feel would be a good fit to our roster of 15 invites. After that we look to the domestic Continental teams to make up the balance of our 15 slots. Again that is easier said than done. The tough part is we don’t have room for all the Domestic teams. Which means some will not get an invitation. We have to look at how the teams have done this year and how they represent the sport. Like I said, it’s a big chess game of, “if this team says yes then who we will slot for the rest of the spots.”

Check back soon, as we should be able to announce our first round of accepted teams in the next week or two.

Adam – VVF Operations

Inaugural Year Stickers!

FedEx just dropped off our first batch of Inaugural Year Colorado Stage Stickers today... look for those things to start turning up all over the place...

If you are not in the area and want to get your hands on one of these sweet sticks... shoot us an email at or give us a call at 970-949-1999. We will place a couple in the mail for you and make sure they make it to you well before the races.

Route Maps and Stage Descriptions

Quick route update today for the Colorado Stage. Today we are posting map's for each stage to view and download. We are also working on some really cool interactive maps with the team at -- look for those coming soon. They are pulling together 3D Google Earth fly-overs of each Stage Route and helping us build interactive maps for the new site... really cool stuff.

Stage 1: Breckenridge to Beaver Creek
Friday, August 22, 2008

The opening day’s 130-mile road race will begin on Main Street in Breckenridge, taking riders over
Hoosier Pass and south down into Alma, Fairplay and Buena Vista on Colorado 285. The route will then head north on Highway 24, through Leadville and Minturn, before finishing in the heart of Beaver Creek Village. Featuring three mountain passes, 11,000 feet of vertical gain and a lung-searing three-mile uphill finish sprint to Beaver Creek Village, the opening stage will definitely not be for the faint of heart. With Hoosier Pass at 11,524 feet and Tennessee Pass at 10,424 feet, the riders are going to need to be in tremendous shape to be in contention at the finish.

The first Stage will feature two Sprint Lines, one in Buena Vista and another in Leadville. Stage 1 will also feature two King of
the Mountain areas, the first at the summit of Hoosier Pass and the second at the summit of Battle Mountain Pass. Those areas are indicated on the map below... and will provide exciting viewing areas during the event...

Click here to download a larger, printable version.

Stage 2: Vail Valley Circuit Race
Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day two will feature the circuit race, with a total of eight and one half laps of an 8.5 mile loop in and around Vail Village. The race will start on Gore Creek Drive in Vail Village, heading west on Forest Road to Lionshead and out toward West Vail before turning back to the east to Vail Village. The loop will continue east to the Vail Golf Course before turning west once more for a finish adjacent to the Lionshead parking structure. With an estimated lap time of 20 minutes, the circuit race is expected to take just under three hours to complete.

Stage two sprint lines will be at the finish line in Lionshead Village adjacent to the Lionshead parking structure. This stage will be very spectator friendly and the finish line in Lionshead will provide great viewing access. You will be able to catch the dash to the finish line and Sprint Line dashes on alternating laps.

Click here to download a larger, printable version.

Stage 3: Vail Classic Time Trial
Sunday, August 24, 2008

The final day’s competition will hearken back to the days of the Coors Classic with the traditional time trial course from Vail Village to the East Vail cul-de-sac. Competitors will begin the grueling individual ascent in Vail Village hoping to past the fastest time on the 10-mile course that features 1,500 feet of elevation gain in this race against the clock that could well decide the overall champion of the Colorado Stage International Cycle Classic. The Vail course is legendary and it will be interesting to see if today’s stars can better the record time of 26:33.43, set during the 1987 Coors Classic by Andy Hampsten.

Click here to download a larger, printable version.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Citizen's Ride - The Divide Ride

We are excited to announce the "Divide Ride," a Citizen's Ride component at the 2008 Colorado Stage. For those of us not currently racing for a UCI sanctioned Pro Tour, Pro Continental or Continental team, this is your chance to ride a portion of the actual Stage racecourse, score some great SWAG and check out the action - all while getting your ride on.

The Divide Ride is also before the final leg of the Stage, so after you're done with your ride you can head over to Vail Village for the Vail Classic Time Trial. You can also catch the awards ceremony, where we will crown the winner of the inaugural Colorado Stage International Cycle Classic!

Here are the details... more to come soon!

Divide Ride: Citizen's Ride
Sunday, August 24
Rolling Start: 6am-8am

A 100K out and back ride beginning at the base of Beaver Creek Resort and following a portion of the Colorado scenic byway Top of the Rockies (Highway 6 & 24) up Battle Mountain Pass. The turn around point is at the summit of Tennessee Pass (elevation 10,424 feet). Full support with two aid stations providing drinks and light snacks will be available; one near Red Cliff and one at Tennessee Pass. All cyclists must wear an ANSI or Snell approved helmet.

The Divide Ride is open to cyclists of all levels and abilities.

Early registration through July 26: $75
**May register via mail-in (paperwork to come soon), on-line and at the Colorado River Ride on July 26

On-line registration July 27 through August 22: $85
** or

Day of race registration on August 24: $100
**Elk Lot at the base of Beaver Creek Resort/Avon

Mail completed registration forms and checks payable to the Vail Valley Foundation:
VVF/Colorado Stage Divide Ride
Post Office Box 309
Vail, CO 81658

YouTube video from Battle Mountain Pass:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Colorado Stage and Town Council

As this event becomes a reality, we have been working closely with all the local town councils to ensure we deliver the best possible product for each community, as well as the spectators and teams. Throughout the ongoing planning process we've met countless times with the town councils in Vail and Leadville, amongst several others. Each town is unique... as are their respective councils.

One of the latest developments on the Town Council front involves another local Vail Valley event, the Vail Farmers' Market. Both the race and the market are scheduled for the same day and time (Sunday, August 24). In the end it was decided that holding both events at the same time would only add to the excitement. By sharing public space, we will be increasing the animation and experience for both audiences.

So, in short... make sure to check out to the Colorado Stage on Sunday, August 24. Not only will you be able to see the final stage of the race and the crowing of the inaugural Colorado Stage champion... but you can do it all while shopping for great artwork and fresh produce at the very same time! The Vail Farmers' Market is a hallmark community event, and when paired with the excitement of the bike race, promises to make for a memorable day in the Vail Valley for the entire family!

New website!

We are working very hard to launch a new website for the Colorado Stage at We don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet, however, we think the site is going to be pretty slick and couldn't wait to tell you all about it. The new site will have live results, an event webcast and fully downloadable photo and video galleries. When the site goes live you will be able to check out all the event details, confirmed teams and bios and also view fully interactive maps that will show the massive elevation and distances these stages will cover.

We anticipate launching the site in early June and will let you know when it is live here on our blog. For the time being, you can still get event details at, however note that currently that page is just a page on our master site at Our new site will be much more bike specific!

Here is a screen shot of the new site:

Davis Phinney Video

Davis Phinney talks about the return of international cycling to the Vail Valley. Phinney won the 88 Coors Classic and speaks about the Colorado Stage International Cycle Classic bringing the spirit of cycling back to the Vail Valley and Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The Colorado Stage will take place August 22-24, 2008 and is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Checking in on the Tour of California

During the second week of February, a delegation of about a dozen people traveled out to California to “observe” our counterparts working the Amgen Tour of California. Seven of us from the Vail Valley Foundation, including myself, our competition and logistics director and a few from our facilities crew descended upon Palo Alto for some delicious seafood and exciting cycling! We were also joined by representatives from the Colorado State Patrol, the CSP Motorcycle Division and the Town of Vail Police Department—such a motley crew.

Since this is the first cycling event I’ve ever been involved with, admittedly I’m GREEN. From a marketing perspective, the Tour of California is huge and honestly, a bit daunting. From billboards to rolling truck banner-ads, the scope of that event (covering the entire state in 7 stages) is just way bigger than anything we’ll ever have here in Vail. That said, there was a lot to be learned and a lot to do. We’re so lucky to have cycle-fever here in Colorado, so I’m sure that once the word is out about the Stage, it will spread like wildfire and the roads will be lined with spectators—let’s hope!

Unlike ski racing, the press center for bike races is roaming. At every finish line, there must be a press conference and press center set up. For stage 1, we were housed on the beautiful campus of Stanford University; Stage 2 was in the city of Santa Rosa at the Hyatt; Stage 3 was at the Convention Center in Sacramento. I stayed for the first Stage and the facilities staff stayed for the first 2 Stages. I was impressed by the small staff from KOM Sports that kept all the press operations running smoothly.

Things I never would have thought about before going to California: Issuing media credentials for camera crews riding motorcycles, the danger of photographers getting run over just after the sprint to the finish line, the webcast airplane needing to re-fuel and not being able to transmit the race signal, having to wait for podium athletes to re-hydrate so they’re able to pee in the anti-doping cup... What a learning curve!

I would say our most notable experiences in California surrounded the Rock Racing cycling team. The team rolls everywhere in black Cadillacs and giant tour buses—all emblazoned with neon-green skulls. They sponsored the podium girls portion of the race and had their stick figure models, all wearing skin tight Rock & Republic jeans (of course) with black stilettos to hand out the awards—I loved it! As a marketing chick, I fully appreciated the buzz they were causing and watched how people gobbled up their notoriety...genius.

We’re currently getting our Stage marketing plan together that includes everything from the grass-roots bike shop angle to placing ads in major glossy publications—again, a lot to do in not much time! Stay tuned for more...

- Shelley Woodworth, Director of Marketing & PR for the Vail Valley Foundation

The Decision to Create the Colorado Stage

An international cycling event has been on the Vail Valley Foundation’s radar screen for quite some time. The board of directors has been very supportive of adding a summer athletic event to the organization’s collection of internationally renowned winter competitions including the Birds of Prey Downhill Race Week and Honda Session (and many others). And road cycling, along with golf, has always been high on our list of potential options.

The Vail Valley has a long history with cycling, both road and mountain, dating back to the days of the Coors Classic. I was fortunate enough to run the Vail segment of the Coors Classic prior to joining the Vail Valley Foundation, and have first hand knowledge of the excitement and celebration that a major road race brings to a community, as well as to the racing fans.

When I joined the Foundation, I headed up all of the organizing efforts for our mountain biking events, including the 1994 and 2001 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships. While mountain biking is obviously a different sport from road cycling, we made a concerted effort to bring the racing to the people, rather than expect the people to find their way up the mountain to the racing. We routed the cross-country course through Vail Village, similar to the Coors Classic criterium days, and I am pleased to say that we achieved the desired results, with tremendous crowds and a wonderful atmosphere.

When discussions and negotiations ended on another proposed Vail-based road cycling event in 2005, the Vail Valley Foundation picked up the ball, working closely with Sean Petty and USA Cycling, to create the concept of the Colorado Stage International Cycle Classic. We got far enough along in the process in 2006 to have USA Cycling submit a tentative September date for the UCI calendar, but were forced to withdraw that proposal.

In 2007, we made the firm commitment for an August 2008 race. We're working diligently toward revitalizing the spirit and enthusiasm of the Coors Classic days while also relishing the fact that we are helping to bring another major international road race event to Colorado and the Vail Valley. We hope you join us for what promises to be an outstanding cycling event this August!

- Ceil Folz, President of the Vail Valley Foundation