Here’s how to watch and enjoy the Colorado Classic this weekend | VailDaily.com

Here’s how to watch and enjoy the Colorado Classic this weekend

The women's Colorado Classic peloton crosses the start gate for the final lap of Stage 1 on Thursday, Aug. 16, in Vail last year. The women completed four laps from West Vail to East Vail.
Rachel Zimmerman | Special to the Daily

Stage 2 of the Colorado Classic cycles through Avon this weekend, bringing an all-women class of pro cyclists to the area on Friday, Aug. 23. While watching the athletes bike through town, sports fans will have plenty to celebrate and enjoy, but the event also offers plenty of other opportunities for fun. Here’s a breakdown of how to enjoy the Colorado Classic this weekend.

How to watch

There are four different designated watch zones around town. Here’s where to find them.

Lake Street, Nottingham Park: This is the start/finish line for Vail Valley’s stage of the race. Cheer on riders as they complete seven laps, and stop to browse the Bike and Lifestyle Expo area in the nearby park.

Main Street Mall, Benchmark Road: Here’s another spot to stop and watch the bikers. Colorado Classic merchandise is also available at this location.

Village Road: Sidewalk viewing is perfect for watching the final lap as the route turns to an uphill battle towards Bachelor Gulch. The cyclists will fly by again on their descent as they race toward the finish line.

Daybreak Ridge Road, Village to Village Trail: Racers will vie for the Queen of the Mountain title while tackling one of Colorado’s most notorious climbs: Daybreak Ridge. This viewpoint can only be reached on foot, but it’s a great vantage point and a built-in hike-or-bike opportunity during a day of speculating.

Here’s an animated map of the route.

Gwen Inglis makes her way down the South Frontage Road for the womens time trial for the Colorado Classic last year.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

Bike and Lifestyle Expo

Here are the fun things to do at the expo in Nottingham Park. The expo starts at 11:30 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m., after the post-race awards are handed out.

Get some gear. This is one of two locations where official Colorado Classic merchandise, made by cycling outfitter Primal, will be for sale. Merchandise is only available at the event, not online, so if you want something, tomorrow is the time to get it. Not a cycler? The expo will have brands representing plenty of interests, including Altra running, Canyon cycling, Bicycle Passport Colorado bike route map app, Nokain tires and car manufacturer Audi. Head to the expo to see all the activities that will be available, but Canyon’s booth will have bikes to try.

Eat some food. Local vendors will provide food in the expo, and Aurora-based Honey Smoked Fish Company will sell its smoked salmon products as well.

Grab a drink. American beer giant Anheuser-Busch will have a tent at the event. Cool off with a cold one: AB-InBev brands include Budweiser, Corona, Modelo and Stella Artois, among others.

Catch some music. At 1 p.m., Boulder indie folk band The Sweet Lillies will take the Nottingham Pavilion stage. The all-woman three-piece came to Vail earlier this summer for the free Vail Summer Bluegrass Series – they opened for The Lonesome Days on July 17 along with Avenhart. The concert is free.

Full-Day Schedule

Here’s the Colorado Classic’s planned schedule of events.

11:30-3:30 p.m. Bike and Lifestyle Expo

Noon-1:00 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremony

1 p.m. Race Starts

1 p.m. Sweet Lillies free concert in the expo

3 p.m. Approximate race finish time

3-3:30 p.m. Post-Race Awards

Charity at the Classic

The Colorado Classic also uses the race as an opportunity to give back. The Chris Anthony Youth Initiative is a charitable foundation organized by the pro-skier and Denver native to help provide extracurricular experiential opportunities to kids, providing mentorship and enrichment beyond the classroom. It also provides financial support. On Lap 4, the first rider to cross the finish line will split a bonus cash prize with the charity. To donate to the pot, text AVON to 797979 or visit accelevents.com/e/Avon.