USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals to determine who qualifies for six spots on the 2019 All-Star Team
An all-star team of collegiate racers is coming to the Colorado Classic all-women’s pro race August 22-25, 2019, organizers announced today.
The Colorado Classic and USA Cycling are partnering to form an all-star collegiate team, providing an opportunity for rising stars from the USA Cycling Collegiate Program to compete as members of a USA Cycling national team in the 2019 race. College racers from around the country can compete for six slots on the team and the chance to race for the USA at the Colorado Classic.
To qualify for the USA Cycling Collegiate All-Star team, female cyclists must be a USA Cycling Category 2 athlete or of higher rank and eligible to compete for the USA in international competition. The top performers from each race at the 2019 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships (May 10-12, 2019, Augusta, GA) will be selected for the team (except riders who are members of a UCI women’s trade team that is participating in the Colorado Classic).
With the start of the collegiate season this weekend, this announcement gives hundreds of women cyclists on varsity and club teams time to qualify for Collegiate Nationals in May in order to be eligible for this opportunity to race with the pros in an international stage race. Additional selection details will be posted soon to
“USA Cycling’s Collegiate Program has consistently produced some of the best riders in the U.S. Adding the Collegiate All-Star Team to this year’s event is incredibly exciting and a chance for new talent to be identified in the sport,” said Sean Petty, Colorado Classic Race Director. “This will only deepen the field of amazing athletes in this year’s race and allow for collegiate competitors to gain invaluable experience on a world stage.”
The 2019 Colorado Classic is expected to draw top teams and world-class competitors including WorldTour race winners, Olympians, national champions and up-and-coming stars for the four-stage race. Riders at this year’s Colorado Classic can now earn significant UCI points for their country’s Olympic qualification because of the race’s recent UCI 2.1 designation.
“We appreciate the invitation to field a National Team of Collegiate All-Stars at the Colorado Classic,” said Scott Schnitzspahn, Vice President of Elite Athletics for USA Cycling. “The opportunity to compete against the top teams in the world will give some of our best collegiate riders an opportunity of a lifetime. We hope it will propel them, like so many other women’s collegiate alumni over the years, to continue to represent our country in future events.”
“Being part of the 2014 Collegiate All-Stars was definitely a boost to my career. I learned a lot, got some great exposure and had an amazing experience,” said Kelly Catlin, three-time World Champion. “I highly recommend this program for any collegiate woman, particularly if they want to advance their cycling career.”
USA Cycling also has included the Colorado Classic in its Pro Road Tour (PRT), which showcases the premier domestic road calendar events in the U.S., including criteriums, road races, stage races and omniums. Just last week, the Colorado Classic earned a 2.1 class designation on the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) calendar, making it one of only 13 such races around the world.
“I am incredibly excited that the organizers of the Colorado Classic are planning to invite a USA Cycling Collegiate All-Star team,” said Erica Clevenger, member of the Sho-Air TWENTY20 Team, two-time Collegiate National Champion, and member of the USA Cycling Board of Directors. “I would not be where I am today were it not for the years I spent racing with the University of Arizona Cycling Team. That said, opportunities to showcase all those hard-earned skills to pro teams can be difficult to come by. Racing on the USA Cycling National team at a prestigious event like the Colorado Classic is both a valuable opportunity towards reaching the professional ranks and an exciting reward for excelling both on and off the bike. Kudos to those involved in making this happen. I am really looking forward to seeing this team perform at the 2019 Colorado Classic!”
Since its 2017 inaugural year, the Colorado Classic has advanced women’s racing in several ways. The Colorado Classic was the first major USA cycling race to go without podium hostesses, opting instead for cycling legends as presenters. In its second year, the race expanded to four stages and Route seems similar in length and difficulty to the men’s. And in its third year, the race became a standalone women’s stage race, foregoing the men’s event while providing unprecedented financial support for the women’s teams, including one of the richest prize purses. The 2019 race will also put women racing on a global TV stage with live streaming coverage each day, syndicated around the world.
More than a race, the Colorado Classic will act as a movement to inspire women, challenge and redefine female professional cycling, and ultimately, empower women of all ages to break the mold, and fight for their goals.