In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Classic presented by VF Corporation today released an initial statement sharing their intention to continue their August race with a revised format, a ‘Made for TV Streaming’ model.
With a new race model that limits the gathering of crowds and prioritizes the safety of riders, host communities and staff, the race organizers feel optimistic that America’s premier all-women’s professional road cycling race could successfully continue August 27-30, 2020 — pending the appropriate approvals from the State, county and city health departments.
“An event cancellation or postponement was explored, but as a last resort. And while it would be the easiest thing to do, we feel a strong commitment and promise to the athletes, the communities and our partners. Our decision to move forward with the modified model aligns with our mission of ongoing support and advancement for women’s cycling. We feel that the athletes need something positive to work towards and we want to be that glimmer of hope for both the peloton and the citizens of the communities in which we race,” said Lucy Diaz, CEO of the RPM Events Group, LLC.
“The infrastructure around this year’s race will be scaled back but our top priority is to create an opportunity for world-class competition in an environment that best supports and focuses on the health and well being of riders and staff. We are working closely with State and City organizations, health authorities, and the sports governing bodies to create protocols and processes that ensure the health and safety for everyone.”
Diaz continued, “this is nothing that any of us have ever experienced in our lifetime, so creating a well thought out plan takes time and collaboration. We have been working tirelessly to develop a model that we hope will inform and inspire other event promoters to apply to their events.”
The innovative live streaming model that was developed last year was a huge asset for the athletes and worldwide spectators, and now during this time of crisis, the Colorado Classic has taken the opportunity to further enhance and innovate this broadcast. The event will provide free, start-to-finish coverage distributed by dozens of outlets world-wide with some new features such as immersive point-of-view cameras, Zoom watch parties, super-fan simulcasts, guest commentator drop-ins and behind-the-scenes coverage of pre and post-race activities.
The biggest visible change to the 2020 event will be the elimination of all on-site ancillary activities, Start/Finish Expo Festivals, and the race hospitality tents and services. This decision was made in accordance with social distancing mandates to dissuade crowd gathering and was heavily circulated and discussed amongst partners and host communities.
“The Colorado Classic is working diligently within the public health orders to have this race,” said Rose Abello, Tourism Director at Snowmass Tourism. “We are looking forward to welcoming the best female riders from all over the world to Snowmass and look forward to cheering for them via live stream just as enthusiastically as we would have in person at the finish line.”
Additionally, race organizers are revising some of the race routes and start/finish locations to minimize the impact on its local host communities and the need for public safety officials. In exploring more alternate venues and courses in and around Denver, Red Rocks Park has emerged as an exciting potential venue. This iconic location offers not only stunning scenery and a controllable event site but also a challenging course profile that could help decide the overall race on the final day.
As of today, State approval to host the event has not yet been granted but conditions are changing daily. The race organizers are targeting an early July date for the next update release of information and will provide more details to the media at that time.