Routt County commissioners to discuss cycling event plans
Board to vote on closing courthouse during USA Pro Cycling Challenge
April 25, 2011
Steamboat Springs — The Routt County Board of Commissioners learned Monday that race organizers would like to turn their hearing room into the press office and interview room one afternoon in late August when the USA Pro Cycling Challenge road race comes through Steamboat Springs.
The commissioners are expected to vote today on the fate of those plans during an 11 a.m. meeting with event organizers Medalist Sports of Atlanta, Ga., who are in Steamboat for a site visit. Colorado State Patrol Chief Col. James Wolfinbarger also is expected to attend today's meeting.
Specifically, the commissioners will consider a special events permit that would result in closing the downtown courthouse Aug. 26. Tentatively, county department heads would have the option of granting employees vacation days or scheduling around race day.
A number of downtown streets will be closed for long periods and the finish line of one stage of the race will be in front of the courthouse, between Fifth and Sixth streets. The racers will queue up again near midday Saturday at the ski area's Meadows Parking Lot to start the next stage of the race.
County Road and Bridge Department senior engineer Heather McLaughlin, who is consulting with the organizers on route planning, said the Vail Valley is preparing for 20,000 spectators when the race comes through that resort town before heading up Colorado Highway 131 on its way to Steamboat. Based on those estimates, she said, local organizers, including local event chairman Jim Schneider, of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., are preparing for 15,000 spectators here.
The racers are expected to arrive at the finish line between 3:18 and 3:42 p.m. Aug. 26, McLaughlin said.
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"Triple Crown (baseball) will not be an issue, nor is the rodeo having a performance that night," McLaughlin said. "There is a free concert planned Friday night."
Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup told the commissioners he was frustrated that he had not been contacted directly by anyone from Medalist Sports.
"It's not my job to run these people down and find out what they're going to do," Wisecup said. "We need answers so we can start our incident pre-planning."
McLaughlin confirmed that to her knowledge Medalist Sports has yet to directly contact local officials whose contact information she has given them. However, she said they have vowed to wrap all transportation details related to the race sometime next month.
The seven-day, 600-mile, 128-rider professional road cycling race is expected to have an international television audience and attract some of the most elite cycling teams in the world.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com
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