Armstrong works to bring back the Coors Classic
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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Armstrong works to bring back the Coors Classic

by Steve Jones at 8:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Lance Armstrong met with Colorado Governer Bill Ritter today to discuss bringing back the Coors Classic, formerly known as the Red Zinger Bicycle Classic, a race that was started by Celestial Seasons founder Mo Siegel nearly 4 decades ago.

Armstrong, who now has a residence in Aspen, said that Colorado is a natural race venue. The state is home to many professional riders because of its challenging terrain.

The race brought Coors on board as the title sponsor four years after its inception, when the man hired to promote the race by Siegel, Michael Aisner, purchased the rights to the race for $1.

Back in it's prime the race was covered by all the major broadcasting networks and international press, and has quite a storied history drawing high profile riders such as Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond, Jeannie Longo, Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney, Raúl Alcalá, Connie Carpenter, and Ron Kiefel.

Ritter cited a serious budget crisis in the state as the biggest obstacle, but said he wouldn't be against helping Armstrong bring the race back by August 2011 if the seven-time Tour de France winner could secure the funding.

The timing would make the race excellent preparation for the World Championships since the Vuelta a Espana will be making a move to April, and also be a huge boost for American cycling with the fate of the Tour de Georgia and Tour of Missouri up in the air.

Having just signed a three-year deal to be the spokesman for Anheuser-Busch InBev's Michelob Ultra brand of beer means that Armstrong might get the job done with a name change.  The company already sponsors cycling and running events across the country and markets its beer as a low-calorie alternative to other brews.

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