Shiffrin event seeks to up the purse for Colorado Classic cash lap | VailDaily.com

Shiffrin event seeks to up the purse for Colorado Classic cash lap

Chris Anthony using digital-age tools to bring back a golden-age tradition

Mikaela Shiffrin participates in a question and answer session in April at the Westin in Avon. Shiffrin will be present at the Westin again on Thursday for a Colorado Classic VIP reception, tickets sold to the event will raise money for a 'cash lap' premium to occur during Friday's cycling races in Avon.
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WHERE TO WATCH

Nottingham Park: National Anthem and opening ceremonies will begin at noon. Attendees can check out gear and food vendors, a giant screen live-streaming the race and a performance by The Sweet Lillies at 1 p.m. The town core will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at noon, so be sure to get there early. Bachelor Gulch: One of the most exciting locations will be the Queen of the Mountain spot at the top of Daybreak Ridge. Bicycle access through Bachelor Gulch is not available after 12:30 p.m. on race day. Park at the Beaver Creek Elk Lot before noon with egress after 4 p.m. Park at the Bear Lot before noon with westbound egress only until 4 p.m.

VAIL – When you’re racing in circles, nothing spices things up like adding a one-lap premium at some randomly chosen point within the race.

The lap premium or “preme” became a staple of criterium racing in Vail at the Coors Classic, which in the 1980s became the biggest and best cycling event in the history of the state and one of the most engaging in the world at that time in terms of crowd size and participation.

With the Colorado Classic harkening back to that era in the newest incarnation of professional road racing in the Centennial State, it’s only natural to get a good preme going on Friday when the race hits Avon for Stage 2.

Those are the words of ski movie star Chris Anthony, who loved the Coors Classic back in the day. He is serving as an ambassador of sorts for the Colorado Classic this week and is volunteering to get the preme off the ground.

“All of a sudden, a lot of money is on the line for that lap, and it really stirs things up. It becomes a game changer for the race, like a race within the race, and it creates a new energy and connects the audience with the race at that time.” —Chris Anthony

A good preme in the past might have been a new car or a hat that was passed around at the event and filled with cash; Anthony has created a digital version of that hat and is currently in the process of passing it around.

After all, with some of the fastest women in the world making seven laps around Avon between Traer Creek Plaza and Nottingham Park on Friday, one of those laps should definitely include a preme payout, Anthony said.

“My goal is to make it the biggest cash lap ever awarded in women’s professional bike racing,” he said.

Shiffrin VIP reception

Anthony also had a great idea of how to offer an incentive for people who donate big to the preme: by answering the question “Where is Mikaela Shiffrin going to be during the race?”

The wealthiest athlete in the sport of ski racing last year, according to race winnings (which are the same for men and women), Shiffrin also lives a few minutes from the Stage 2 course. It’s a perfect platform to talk about an all-women’s event like the Colorado Classic, Anthony thought.

Anthony arranged for Shiffrin to sit down with Anita Graham, vice president and chief human resources officer for VF Corp., (the parent company of The North Face, Smartwool, Jansport and others), for a discussion on Thursday night.

For a $1,000 contribution to the preme fund, you’ll get five tickets to the event, which takes place from 6-8 p.m. at The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon.

Or donate $1

But you can contribute as little as $1, as well. Visit accelevents.com/e/Avon to donate.

“During the race, they’ll ring a bell and that starts the cash lap,” Anthony said. “All of a sudden, a lot of money is on the line for that lap, and it really stirs things up. It becomes a game-changer for the race, like a race within the race, and it creates a new energy and connects the audience with the race at that time.”

Half of your donation goes to the cash lap, the other half goes to supporting youth through The Chris Anthony Youth Initiative Project, which puts mentors in classrooms, brings students to experiential opportunities beyond the classroom, provides financial support and builds educational tools.