Bad news. The organizers of the Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge announced that due to a lack of funds the three-day stage race has been reduced to a one-day criterium for the second-year event. The crit will be held on August 22, just before the men finish that day’s Gunnison-to-Aspen stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
“As some of you know this race is put on solely by three individuals. None of us are making a dime for our efforts, and in 2011 each of us put in our own personal funds to get this race off the ground. For 2012 we hoped to grow the event and further promote women’s cycling, but we were unsuccessful in securing the necessary funds or resources to put on the full race. We have no reserves nor loans to fall back on, and we must now change the race to fit within our budget.” stated the official statement from the race organizers.
The three individuals behind the race are Jessica (Phillips) van Garderen, Justin Todd and Jan Koorn. The Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Restaurants signed on to be the title sponsor in early June 2012.
The statement continued, “The plan now, thanks to the support of our title sponsor Blue Ribbon Restaurants, is to host a single-day criterium in Aspen on Wednesday August 22nd preceding the finish of the men’s USPCC stage. This will be a 60 minute crit in front of large crowds and will provide good sponsor exposure for teams as well as world class race experience. All qualifying athletes will be given free entry, and some teams will be provided host housing as available (not guaranteed). Additionally we will host a racer dinner the night prior. Final details will be available in the coming days as we work through this new program.”
“This decision was not made easily nor lightly and each of us hope this race can continue under different leadership. We have made every effort in our ability to raise funds, recruit help and solicit donated products but at the end of the day we have come up short. We hope everyone will support us in our efforts to put on a great criterium and come out and support these athletes.”
Kristin Armstrong won the inaugural event, known as the Aspen Women’s Pro Race in 2011.