Logistics are continuing to come together regarding the USA Pro Challenge bicycle race, slated to cruise through Windsor August 24 bringing with it thousands of race spectators and international attention.
The town on Monday is expected to adopt an intergovernmental agreement with Fort Collins, Loveland, Estes Park and Larimer County, ensuring that communication with the broader event organizers is maintained and all details surrounding expenses, revenues and exact plans are ironed out for the stage of the race that is expected to highlight northern Colorado as a bastion for cycling.
It’s the next step in what has been a long process of securing one of the country’s premiere bike races. The town has already contributed $10,000 worth of in-kind donations to help secure a spot on the tour, which will loop through Fort Collins and Loveland the same day as it winds through Windsor.
“Working together as a region... It just kind of puts us in a place where we can continue to be the center of northern Colorado,” Town Manager Kelly Arnold said after Monday’s town board work session.
The exact route of the seven-day tour is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks, but on Monday Arnold said it will come into Windsor from The Ranch, cut through downtown, duck south somewhere before hitting the railroad tracks and then back toward the west.
Though it remains difficult to predict exactly what tangible benefits Windsor will receive, organizers are optimistic both in terms of dollars coming into the local economies and exposure to an enormous audience.
Bob Herfeldt, director of The Ranch Fairgrounds for Larimer County, has been working closely with the Classic Bicycle Race, the owner of the USA Pro Challenge. He explained that all of the race, which spans from Aspen to Denver and communities around the state, will be broadcast on NBC Sports. The Saturday events — the day it will cut through Windsor — will be broadcast on national NBC affiliates and is expected to reach as many as 145 countries around the world. In terms of network shares, he said the USA Pro Challenge sits above the NHL and below the NBA.
“Bike racing in the states is getting bigger and bigger every year,” he said, adding that organizers extensively promote online the event through social media including Facebook and Twitter. Every eight seconds, he said, someone is expected to make a mention to it on social media.
In 2012, more than 1 million spectators lined the 683-mile course, which challenges riders up numerous mountain passes and meanders through small communities across Colorado.
“It’s a real kind of high-end crowd that wants to watch this,” he said.
Additional details are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks, and Windsor officials will likely be reaching out to the community for support, volunteers and other ideas for how to make this a truly remarkable event, Arnold said. For more information on the route, sponsors, logistics and exact plans, go to www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com.