Tour de Steamboat bike ride to cover 105 miles


Motivated or perhaps inspired by watching the Tour de France?

If so, Rocky Peak Product--ions has the road ride for you.

Registration is under way for the first Kent Eriksen's Tour de Steamboat, a 105-mile, noncompetitive tour along some of Northwest Colorado's most scenic roads.

Director Katie Lindquist rode the course last week and is looking forward to the Aug. 13 event.

"It was beautiful," she said. "I had the nicest ride. The only downfall is no one was up there to give me aid. I had to carry enough water to get me from town to Toponas."

The Tour de Steamboat begins and ends in Steamboat Springs and will take riders along U.S. Highway 40 over Rabbit Ears Pass to Colorado Highway 134 and over Gore Pass. Riders will proceed to Colo. 131 and make their way back toward Steamboat via Toponas, Phippsburg and Yampa. Riders also will use Routt County roads 14 and 16.

Five aid stations complete with food and drink will be on the course. The race will be fully supported. Riders will leave Steamboat as early as 6:30 a.m. and must leave by 7:30 a.m. for the century ride. The first riders will cross the finish line at about 1:30 p.m.

"It's challenging, scenic, legendary," Lindquist said about the course. "Gore Pass is just beautiful, and even going from Rabbit Ears toward Kremmling is scenic. A lot of people have not been on Gore Pass unless they've biked it before."

Early registration deadlines are approaching, and Lindquist is reminding prospective local and out-of-town cyclists to sign up soon. The Tour de Steamboat will be capped at 500 riders because it is not a race and the roads won't be closed. Times will not be tracked.

"We originally planned on it being a race, but it was cost-prohibitive to do it that way," Lindquist said.

The early registration deadline is Aug. 1. Any missing forms or incomplete registrations at that time will incur a $25 late fee that will be due at the time of registration/packet pick-up. Late registrations will be allowed Aug. 12 for $100 a person if space remains in the tour. The packet pick-up is from 3 to 9 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Hotel.

In addition, and in conjunction with the Tour de Steamboat, Wells Fargo Bank is presenting An Evening with Andy Hampsten, a former professional cyclist and Tour de France stage winner, on Aug. 12.

It will be a dinner buffet and silent auction to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Hampsten will talk about his life as a professional cyclist.

Tickets are available in advance only, and there is limited seating at the Sheraton. Tickets can be purchased through the same Web site as cyclists can use to register.

A post-race barbecue will be held on the corner of 12th and Yampa streets at 5 p.m. Aug. 13. Food and drink will be provided for registered participants, and friends and family can purchase tickets, as well. It also will be an open house for Kent Eriksen Cycles and Company, the title sponsor.

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