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Return of pro level stage racing in Colorado?

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Deagol said:
I have not (unfortunately) been through the Pacific Northwest. Has the beetle hit there yet?
There are mostly Douglas Fir trees here, and it's too wet. However, in the central and eastern parts of the state there are pines, and beetles have been there. However, their biggest "enemy" is forest fire. Even the smoke from forest fires can kill beetles by the jillions, and we've had plenty of fires here.

wheels55 said:
...I think it's still possible to showcase a lot of CO in "Coors Classic" fashion, and seems like there could be an opportunity to make this a regional affair, maybe by throwing in w/ the Tour of Utah, or looking at stages in Wyoming (think Casper Classic, plus the Jackson Hole area) and this could become a premier event again.

Good post Wheels. I agree. Even a "Colorado Classic" could include Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico. If they can get the fans out to visit that far out.

davidw said:
Kind of veering off topic, but if you want to do a nice drive, you can go from Paulina Lakes...

I would encourage anyone visiting Oregon to just make the climb up Newberry Crater. Not too hard, about 6%, probably a Category 2 climb. But great views, and just a great climb. Only 35 miles from the Bend area to the top, and as you can see from the photo, it still looks very remote. Light traffic too.

The other photo I showed is from McKenzie Pass. A road that is closed for a week or so every year in June to traffic. Just after they plow it, it's only open to cyclists, and people on foot. It's about 80 miles form Eugene, and 35 from Bend. Perfect for riding.

Both would be perfect for a UCI Continental stage race. Super scenic, somewhat quiet roads, but not too far from populated areas.
 
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Alpe d'Huez said:
...
There are mostly Douglas Fir trees here, and it's too wet. However, in the central and eastern parts of the state there are pines, and beetles have been there. However, their biggest "enemy" is forest fire. Even the smoke from forest fires can kill beetles by the jillions, and we've had plenty of fires here.....
.


Apologies if this is too off-topic, but I’ve heard from a friend who works at a Local ski area that there is now also a spruce beetle killing spruce trees there in addition to what the pine beetle has already done. Also I have heard of some fungus killing the Aspens. What we need here in CO is a few good fires. Actually, the decades of fire suppression have done a lot of harm. If we had any fires in Grand County (the Winter Park/Granby Area) it would be a tempest now with all the dead trees just waiting to burst into flames. I was up in Idaho a couple of summers ago and saw pine beetle kill up there as well, probably not as wet as the Cascades, though.
How does this relate to bike racing? Hmm, well, it may be a stretch, but imagine if a large stage race were to be impacted or cancelled due to a massive forest fire. In certain parts of the Colorado Rockies, it’s probably just a matter of time before we do get another large fire, one that may even dwarf the Hayman fire of a few years back…
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Good post Wheels. I agree. Even a "Colorado Classic" could include Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico. If they can get the fans out to visit that far out.

Alpe, the Tour of Utah is about to start! It's got it's OWN fan base who would love to watch a couple of legs of a larger, more regional race. I think NM has a healthy cycling scene, too, and Wyoming is so pretty it would be worth doing the race on empty roads (but I'm sure they wouldn't be empty).

It would be great if they made a combined race like that, but you wouldn't have to worry about fans leaving Colorado to watch; each region would provide its own fans.
 
Agree Tibbs. They just have to find the balance between getting the course on the right roads, close enough to population centers to get fans to watch, and getting sponsorship. It will be harder to do than it was in the 1980's, but it can be done.

This is why I suggest a "Tour of the Cascades" for the northwest. One that potentially stretches all the way from Lassen Peak and Mt. Shasta in California (the Everett Memorial HC climb would be great on TV!), all the way up through Oregon, Washington and into BC even. Every year could move up/down, etc. depending on sponsorship and support. Someone should seriously consider this and hire me as a course planner. :)
 
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benpounder said:
I finally understand just how you have gotten such a astronomically high post count - seems you always have to have the last word.

Carry on, Tff, carry on...

The "Irony" button is broken on your 'pooter huh?
 
Last word for him? He's not the only one with an astronomically high post count! Ha! ;)

Deagol said:
Apologies if this is too off-topic, but...What we need here in CO is a few good fires. Actually, the decades of fire suppression have done a lot of harm.

My cousin worked for the USFS for 30 years across several states until retiring last year. She can tell you an earful about this. A lot of rangers and forest managers would very quietly cheer when forest fires would rage away for the very reason you state. The general population has a "Bambi complex", that fire destroys the forest, when the exact opposite is true. And quite honestly, people have just moved in too damn close with vacation homes, and then expect the government to save them when fires naturally show up. :mad:

As I stated before, the pine and spruce beetle, and tree disease problems Colorado forests have can only be solved in one way, and one way only: forest fires. Birds, bugs, other critters won't eat them all. Even heavy logging won't get rid of them. It simply has to naturally burn.
 
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Alpe d'Huez said:
The other photo I showed is from McKenzie Pass. A road that is closed for a week or so every year in June to traffic. Just after they plow it, it's only open to cyclists, and people on foot. It's about 80 miles form Eugene, and 35 from Bend. Perfect for riding.

Both would be perfect for a UCI Continental stage race. Super scenic, somewhat quiet roads, but not too far from populated areas.

I don't know if they would be that great for *big* stage races, but if you want to see some of the really great climbs in Oregon, they're not actually up at the top of the Cascades, but in some of the BLM and forest service roads further west:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sou...51,-122.115269&spn=0.038501,0.111494&t=p&z=14

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sou...51,-122.115269&spn=0.038501,0.111494&t=p&z=14

(The one above didn't come out quite right... but it's a real legbreaker - it's really steep)

They actually did a race on this one a number of years back... very epic:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sou...97952&sspn=0.077455,0.222988&ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13
 
pmcg76 said:
Was there not a mountainous one day race in Colorado earlier this decade but it only lasted a few years, I remember JV won it and some of it was on non-paved roads. I dont remember what it was called but seemed a pretty decent race. I think it finished in Breckenridge, I am not from Colorado or even the US so dont slam me.

It would be good to see another major race in the US but we have talked about the state of racing in the US before, Lance does create interest & enthusiasm but it disappears very quickly. San Fran was another great race that didnt last that long.

Catch my error here if I am wrong, but I think back in 99, one of the last times the Coors Classic was run, it was so difficult only 15% of the group that started actually finished. I was living in Boulder then and we wanted to follow it but the news was the team vans packing cyclists down the mountains miles and miles before the finish.

How about Vancouver B.C. to San Diego with some "over the cascades" mountain stages. 1,182 miles and as mountainous or flat as you want it. I have actually ridden this, but along to the coast and partly inland.
 
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The irony of another with over 2300 posts suggesting that I "nominate [my]self as the person to address things like that[...]" is most certainly not lost. I was just wondering if you recognized it.

Physician heal thyself
Indeed!

"just sayin'", y'know.

Want to boost that count over 2400? You have the last word...
 
Great post there David! You're showing me up in my home state, and I thought I got around! NF-1993 I did not know about, or how far it was paved. It's close to the Aufderheid, one of the most scenic roads in the US.

Back in like 1990 I was in a RR south of Eugene near the town of Crow that looked like it would be rollers from the start, but ended up going over some real tough, long climbs (I lost, btw).

There are also climbs up off 57 and 58 from Ripplebrook to Timothy lake that are spectacular, and tough. Climbs on Mt. Hood that aren't the main roads, at all - West Leg Road, Lolo Pass, Lost Lake, Whatum Lake. Then down south there is of course Mt. Ahsland, Bear Creek Road. etc.

Many, many more. If you have more you'd like to share from memory, while sipping on that glass of Barolo overlooking the Riviera, I'd be happy to hear. :)

shawnrohrbach said:
Catch my error here if I am wrong, but I think back in 99, one of the last times the Coors Classic was run, it was so difficult only 15% of the group that started actually finished.
Coors' last year was 1988, where it went from Hawaii, to California, to Nevada, etc. Maybe having to cross the pacific ocean took some out. Then those that couldn't carry enough water from that, probably wilted in the Nevada desert. ;)
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
One correction. The 1987 CC went to Hawaii, not 1988.

It is a little relevant. I mean, no forest, or huge forest fires, then no bike racing on open forested roads. Nothing wrong with thinking globally.

Carry on.


Ok, snark snark. Who knows the name of the race in Colorado that I speak of? 98 or 99 and 0ver 80 % of the field abandoned.
 
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wheels55: For what it is worth, it was a good race. Informal chats with the racers confirm this. Not huge crowds, but knowledgable ones, and vocal ones.

M-Pro successful break, ten laps out. The Fly V guy, Benjamin Day, second to the last in this shot went on to win, the Felt-Garmin guy, third from the front took second.

3908563562_d9740126db.jpg


There is talk of expanding next year.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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altitude

noone has brought up that Colorado might not be ideal for the cyclists as it is at 1500 meters or higher where the racing will be done, as opposed to TDF or Giro or Vuelta where they go from near sea level to maximum @2500 meters

personally, i think the return of big-league road racing to Colorado would rock, and would love to see a TT up Mt. Evans on the Bob Cook Memorial course - what would AC do to the record?
 
davidw said:
Interesting thread...

If we ever go back to the US from Italy, one place we're considering is Boulder.

It looks like there are tons of racers living there, but one thing I don't get is what people do in the winter. Here in Northern Italy, it's no sunny Mediterranean paradise, but it's almost always above 0 C, so you can train year round if you dress right. Even western Oregon is ok in the winter, if you have good rain gear and don't get too demoralized by the constant gray. Personally I think Southern Oregon is where it's at... you get some bigger climbs than those steady grades over in Bend; also it's warmer in the winter.

I didn't mind the winters we spent in Innsbruck, Austria, but really missed being able to get out on my bike. I'm not into skiing or much in the way of winter sports besides "rodeling".

Winters at about 5000-5500 feet around Boulder is very civilized. Few snow storms(2-3), roads get clobbered for a few days then warm, dry and the roads are clear again. Dress well and almost year round riding is easy, in Boulder. Go up 2500 feet to around 7000-7500 and you are going to see a LOT of snow.
 

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