Host city spotlight: City of Golden
The 2019 Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation will feature its most challenging course yet with a mix of tough mountain and swift urban circuit routes through Steamboat Springs, Avon, Golden, and Denver.
Now a women’s-only event, the pro road race will have something for every racer and fan, with high-altitude QOMs, breakneck sprints, six-miles of gravel, tight technical street racing and one of the most treacherous climbs in Colorado. The course will cover a total of 220 miles (354kms) with 13,667 feet (4,166m) of climbing while showcasing Colorado’s iconic terrain and bike-friendly towns.
Located just 15 miles outside Denver city limits, Golden is small Gold Rush town known for being the gateway to the Rocky Mountain’s Front Range, and home to the world’s largest single-site brewery, Coors Brewing Company. Golden will host the Stage 3 of the 2019 Colorado Classic, which features a deceivingly challenging route.
On paper, Stage 3 in Golden looks like a sprinter’s delight with three sprints and seven swift laps of a nine-mile circuit that starts and finishes under the iconic Golden arch downtown. However, the short steep climb up the historic Washington Street is enough for a mini-QOM on the last lap and, combined with additional rollers, adds up to over 4,000’ of vertical climbing by the end of the race.
We spoke with Karlyn Tilley, City of Golden’s Communications Manager, on why Golden is the perfect location for bike racers, fans and recreationalists alike.
Golden hosts a number of events every year, what makes hosting the Colorado Classic stand out to you?
Golden has a growing culture of healthy lifestyles, outdoor recreation and a bicycle-friendly community. As a city with a female Mayor and Fire Chief, we are blazing trails of inclusivity and equality. This is a perfect match for this year’s Colorado Classic, where women athletes are the primary focus. In Golden, we are not afraid to let women shine!
And why Golden? What makes Golden such a great destination for events, and specifically, for cycling?
Golden is a place of history mixed with contemporary fun. You’ll find great live music, theatre, art galleries, museums, and public art. Downtown Golden welcomes you with its iconic “Howdy Folks” sign, and a wide variety of unique shops and eateries. The Golden Visitor Center has maps to take you on bicycle tours of breweries and landmarks. There is a type of terrain for every cyclist of every age and skill level. You’ll likely see Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan riding around on her bike!
A core value in Golden is to ensure “bikeability”. We have more than 30 miles of trails in our compact nine-square-mile city. The Golden Bike Park is a fun outdoor playground for mountain bikers. We are host to many bicycling events throughout the year including a monthly community bike cruise, a Gran Fondo, a mountain bike enduro race, and many more. There are about a half dozen bicycle shops just in the downtown area of Golden, and the City also rents bikes to visitors from our Golden Bike Library.
What kind of bike riding does Golden have in its vicinity?
Golden is nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains and because of its spectacular location, it is one of the most popular biking capitals of Colorado. With more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails within our City limits, there is something for bikers of every age and ability. You can pedal along the Clear Creek Trail, following the route taken by gold seekers 150 years ago, or you can change gears and try to pedal up one of Colorado’s most iconic hill climbs – the twisting road to the top of Lookout Mountain.
Don’t have a bike? No problem! Golden has you covered. Check out our Golden Bike Library, conveniently located behind the Visitor’s Center in the heart of downtown. This bike share program allows you to check out a variety of bikes, from cruisers to mountain bikes for adults and kids. For those new to Golden, suggested routes, maps, and other Golden information is available. Check us out online: www.GoldenBikeLibrary.com.
What’s the best place for a post-ride beer and/or pre-ride coffee?
Golden has nine microbreweries and distilleries, all within biking distance. This is in addition, of course, to the world’s largest single site brewery, MillerCoors, which calls Golden home. We have a tour specifically designed for bikers who like beer! The Craft Breweries Tour takes you to six of our local microbreweries, complete with descriptions, hours of operation, and a map to guide you.
Fuel up before a ride at a wide selection of restaurants and specialty coffee shops, most of them locally owned and unique to Golden. You will find plenty of places to park your bike as you enjoy the city.
Please give us your best pitch as to why people should come visit Golden and watch the Colorado Classic there?
Stage 3 in Golden offers many opportunities for up-close viewing of the action. There are three sprints and seven swift laps over a nine-mile circuit that starts and finishes under the iconic Golden Arch downtown. There are many great places to watch the racers throughout the loop. You can also watch it on the big screen in Parfet Park (just steps away from the race start/finish) at the Cycling, Health & Fitness Expo.
There will also be great spectator viewing in places along the route. For example, New Terrain Brewery will have a front seat to the action, without the crowds of downtown.
There is something really special about seeing the racers rush up through our historic downtown, one of the oldest cities in Colorado. There is not a bad view anywhere… whether you’re watching the race or soaking in our beautiful mountains and mesas. You can’t ask for a better backdrop for an amazing women’s circuit of the Colorado Classic!
To learn more about Golden and plan your Colorado Classic Stage Three visit , check out www.cityofgolden.net To ride stage three of the 2019 Colorado Classic in and around Golden, you can download the Stava route here.