Lance Armstrong Brings Cycling Race Back to Denver Colorado
Lance Armstrong took to the streets of downtown Denver on Wednesday with Gov. Bill Ritter and hundreds of citizen cyclists to celebrate the realization of his dream of bringing a major international pro-cycling stage race to Colorado next year.
to plan the Quiznos Pro Challenge, which he said he believes will draw the world's top professional cyclists and teams, making it successful enough to become an annual event.
"I can tell you that the best European riders will be lined up to come to this event," Armstrong said.
Armstrong, who lives in Aspen, said the idea of returning pro cycling to Colorado came about while riding alone in the mountains a couple of years back. He enlisted Ritter's help last year unaware that the governor was an avid cyclist who had watched the old Coors Classics while a law student at the University of Colorado.
"I think really this is the birth of an event, but in a lot of ways it's the rebirth of an old, traditional, history event that we all came to know and love a long, long time ago," Armstrong said.
Armstrong called to the podium former Olympian Davis Phinney, who won the '88 Coors Classic.
"I've told him that comebacks are a lot harder than people think," Armstrong said. "He said, 'OK, but I've got a son in Taylor Phinney who will be there.'"
With the cancellations of the tours of Georgia and Missouri, the Quiznos Pro Challenge and the Tour of California will be the only ones on U.S. soil next year.
The Quiznos Pro Challenge will be sanctioned by USA Cycling and the UCI. Course routes, host cities and participating teams will be announced in the coming months.
Armstrong has several appearances coming up, including a fundraiser in Steamboat Springs this weekend at the inaugural Ride 4 Yellow for off-road riders contributing to the fight against cancer. He told the AP he's also leaning toward riding again in the lung-searing Leadville 100 mountain bike race on Aug. 14.
"This month is one month you wanted to lay low," Armstrong said. "It ends up I'm pretty slammed with some commitments."