Colorado Mini Classic returns this weekend |

Colorado Mini Classic returns this weekend

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jury Jerome Post IndependentYoung cyclists compete at last year's Colorado Mini Classic. This year's three-stage, juniors-only event is slated for Saturday and Sunday.

Slowly but surely, the Colorado Mini Classic is going big time. Just like it was back in its first incarnation.

Silt’s three-stage junior cycling event returns Saturday and Sunday. A time trial is slated for Saturday morning, followed by a criterium in the afternoon and then a road race on Sunday.

The Mini Classic, which has a rich tradition in Colorado’s cycling scene, was originally held in the 1980s in conjunction with the Red Zinger and Coors Classic. It was revived in 2010.

It became a Lance Armstrong Junior Race Series event this year, earning it a spot on the national racing calendar. Additionally, Colorado’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge recently signed on to become a presenting partner for the Mini Classic.

Bill Sommers, team manager of the local Two Rivers Cycling Club and the Mini Classic’s race director, expects to see the Armstrong series affiliation really begin to pay off next summer.

“With it being the first year on the LAJRS calendar, we’re anticipating the yield from out-of-state club registrations really not coming until next year,” he said.

Still, Sommers expects somewhere in the neighborhood of a 75-racer turnout for this weekend’s event, which is co-promoted by Two Rivers Cycling and the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado (ACA).

Although there’s talk of adding stages in the future, expect the 2012 Mini Classic to look much like the 2010 and 2011 versions.

Saturday morning’s time trial routes riders out and back along the Colorado River on the Interstate 70 frontage road. The start and finish line is located in front of the Bureau of Land Management’s field office.

The action moves downtown for Saturday afternoon’s criterium, which will take place on a course that winds around Veterans Park.

A 14-mile loop, which takes place primarily on the Silt Mesa and is laden with rolling hills and grueling climbs, will challenge riders in Sunday’s road race.

It its brief existence, the Mini Classic’s popularity is growing.

At the past weekend’s Coal Miner Classic in Louisville, Sommers raced with his teenage son, Max. Afterwards, he received a bit of validation for all the work he and so many volunteers, most all associated with Two Rivers Cycling, have poured into the Mini Classic.

“A couple of his junior racer buddies from the Front Range were hanging out with us after the race,” the elder Sommers recalled. “The kids were saying how they couldn’t wait until next weekend and the Mini Classic. Just sitting there, listening, was a pretty good feeling.”

There is still time to register your young racer for this weekend’s events. Online registration closes at 11:59 a.m. on Thursday. Visit to register.

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