Tour de Steamboat features shorter race option, benefits Sunshine Kids

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— A few things have changed with the Kent Eriksen Tour de Steamboat, but the biggest draw certainly has stayed the same.

Cyclists still will ride the 110-mile scenic course, climb more than 6,000 feet on Rabbit Ears Pass on U.S. Highway 40 and Gore Pass on Colorado Highway 134, then finish on Yellow Jacket Pass on Routt County Road 14.

But this year, riders will have another option for the July 26 race.

There will be a shorter, 40-mile race to Stagecoach and back. Both races will start at 7 a.m. at Little Toots Park on 13th Street in Steamboat Springs. The start will be a controlled roll-out with a police escort.

"It will lend to a more festive atmosphere," organizer Katie Lindquist said.

Cost for the Tour de Steamboat is $75, while the Stagecoach ride is $45. Both rides include a post-race barbecue at Little Toots Park.

The race also will benefit the Sunshine Kids Foundation this year. The Sunshine Kids Foundation provides children who have cancer the opportunity to experience exciting group activities for free.

For the past three years, the Sunshine Kids have come to Steamboat Springs for a week of food, skiing and other activities such as tubing and snowmobiling.

In addition to the tour benefiting the Sunshine Kids, Lindquist said there will be a Prudential Reality pasta dinner and charity auction July 25 at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Cost for the benefit dinner is $25 a person. The dinner and auction start at 6 p.m.

A drawing for a custom Kent Eriksen titanium frame will take place at the post-race barbecue. Tickets for the drawing are $10 each - and buy 10, get one free. Those tickets can be purchased at Prudential Reality or by calling Lindquist at 879-0480. People don't have to compete in the Tour de Steamboat or be present to win the Kent Eriksen frame.

Registration for the tour ends July 25.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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