Armstrong confident of Colorado race revival |

Armstrong confident of Colorado race revival

Steven K. Paulson
Vail, CO Colorado
Tour de France, cyclist Greg LeMond, left, crosses the finish line and wins the Squaw Valley to Reno leg of the Coors International Bicycle Classic, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 1986, Reno, Nv. He won the event with a time of 3:59:34 for the 99.5-miles. The rest of the riders are unidentified. (AP Photo/Walt Zeboski)

DENVER, Colorado – Lance Armstrong said he’s confident he can help bring bicycle racing back to Colorado after meeting Tuesday with Gov. Bill Ritter.

Armstrong, who has a home in Aspen and has trained in the area, said that by 2011 he would like to revive the Coors Classic, a stage race that began in the 1970s and 1980s.

Colorado is a natural race venue, with many professional riders and good terrain, Armstrong said.

“There is no reason the Coors Classic doesn’t come back. I think U.S. cycling needs it,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said he envisions a race that resembled the Coors Classic “with new leadership and a new structure.”

Ritter said the state is faced with a serious budget crisis, but there may be a way for the state to help Armstrong revive the race by August 2011 if Armstrong can find supporters.

Ritter said he is trying to find a way to form a cycling commission that would raise money from sponsors.

“I think Lance Armstrong is committed to some kind of race in Colorado. This is a big deal for us,” Ritter said with Armstrong by his side in the governor’s office.

Colorado had a stage race in the 1970s and 1980s known first as the Red Zinger Classic and later as the Coors Classic, which grew to include two weeks of racing in California, Nevada and Colorado – with stages some years in Hawaii and Wyoming. It was considered one of the biggest stage races in the world.

It last ran in 1988 because of a lack of sponsors.

Coors is now part of Molson Coors Brewing Co. A spokeswoman for the company didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

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