Quiznos Pro Challenge to fill the void in Colorado left by the Coors Classic
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quiznos Pro Challenge to fill the void in Colorado left by the Coors Classic

by VeloNation Press at 2:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Big time bike racing back to Colorado after more than two decades

Lance ArmstrongToday Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter, and seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong confirmed the birth of the "Quiznos Pro Challenge".  The Denver sandwich company has taken the lead on bringing the state its first professional stage race since the Coors Classic in 1988.  Slated to kick off August 11th of next year, the seven-day event will promote tourism within the state, while giving Quiznos the unique opportunity to be a part of US cycling's storied history.

"This is the birth of an event," Armstrong said to a crowd gathered at the state capitol. "But, in a lot of ways, it's the rebirth of an old, traditional, historic event that we all came to know and love a long, long time ago."

As is the case with the Tours of France, Italy and Spain, and even the Tour of California, the race represents an opportunity to feature the natural beauty of the state to a captive audience.  While the idea of using a bike race to promote tourism is still novel in America, the tradition has already proven its value abroad.

Quiznos, the company who gained notoriety by being the first sandwich chain to promote toasted sandwiches, has acknowledged the value that non-traditional advertising channels can bring to their brand.  Similar to the Coors Classic always being associated with the beverage, the Quiznos Pro Challenge will begin to etch its name in the history books in twelve months time.

Armstrong's idea to bring a stage race back to Colorado came last year on a training ride near his home in Aspen.  He contacted the Governor to discuss the prospect, and the wheels were set in motion.

"This race is really about the future generation of cycling in America, and really the future generation of cyclists all around the world," Armstrong explained.

Now the landscape has changed, and with the Tours of Georgia, Missouri and California leading the way, coming to America to race is widely accepted in the European peloton.  The International Cycling Union has made a push to globalize the sport of cycling, and the Quiznos Pro Challenge will present an opportunity to further open those doors.

"Back in the day, European cyclists, international cyclists, they didn't want to come to the United States and race," Armstrong reflected.  "It was a long trip, it was a hassle, it didn't mean anything to their sponsors. That's not the case today. If you look at the Tour of California, you look at this event, I can tell you the best European riders will be lined up to come to this event."

The race organizers will now continue to put the details together and begin soliciting bids from cities that would like to host stages of the race.

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