New Event Headed Up By Former Cat. 3 Road Race Champ
Halloween weekend is always a big party on Colorado’s Front Range, but this year it’s going to be a little bigger.
Besides ghouls, goblins, tricks and treats, Oct. 30 and 31 mark the return of the North American Cyclocross Trophy National Series to the Centennial State. Racing kicks off Saturday with the Colorado Cross Classic at the Boulder Reservoir, then Sunday moves to the FlatIron Crossing Shopping Center in Broomfield for the Boulder Cup.
Both races are expected to attract huge crowds and the best pros in North America. Organizers have confirmed attendance from the likes of Tim Johnson, Ryan Trebon, Jeremy Powers, Geoff Kabush, Adam Craig, Katie Compton, Georgia Gould and Boulder resident Amy Dombroski.
While those names are familiar to the ’cross community, the UCI-rated C2 Colorado Cross Classic and its race director Tim Shea are newcomers.
Shea was once a regular on Colorado’s amateur road race scene, even winning the Cat. 3 state championships title in 1997. But life subsequently got in the way, and Shea hung up his race bike for the better part of a decade while starting a family and founding a tax advisory business that grew from one employee to 125.
Finally in 2009, with business and family affairs in order, Shea jumped back on the race bike, signing up for his first cyclocross race. He was immediately hooked and soon began thinking about trying his hand at promoting a race.
As luck would have it, Shea is neighbors with Boulder Cup race director Chris Grealish, and when Grealish told Shea there was an opportunity to promote the 2010 Boulder Cup weekend Saturday race, Shea jumped at it.
Flash forward 10 months, and he’s on the cusp of putting on what he feels will be a bar-raising event. Highlights include a wealth of family-friendly activities to complement the full slate of pro and amateur racing, plus a ground breaking title sponsorship deal with Boulder-based Webroot Inc., a leading Internet security provider.
Race Director Tim Shea
303cycling recently caught up with Shea to learn more about him and his event.
[303cycling] So after so many years in the traditional business world why enter the bike race business?
[Tim Shea] Well, it’s something I always wanted to do all the way back to when I first started racing in the 1990s. Finally a couple a years ago, I sold my share of the business I started. Now it’s a new chapter in life. I got back into cycling and got into cyclocross big time last year. Then when Chris [Grealish] told me about the opportunity with the UCI C2 race, I figured the time was right. I’ve always been very passionate about creating and growing things, so this falls right in line with that.
[303cycling] But this is actually the second cycling event you’ve put on this year?
[Tim Shea] Yeah, back in August I was part of the team that put together the Boulder Nites Classic. It’s a fun family bike ride that went through the streets of Boulder. It was an event sanctioned by the city and co-sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department. The whole thing was a benefit for the Boulder’s YSI and EXPAND programs and the PLAY Boulder Foundation.
[303cycling] That event was primary philanthropic. What’s the philosophy for the Colorado Cross Classic?
[Tim Shea] First off, I’ve been very impressed with cyclocross scene in Colorado. There are a ton of races, people have great attitudes, and there’s a generally fun-loving nature at all the events. But I think with the CCC there’s an opportunity to raise the bar. This is a national series event, so that just makes sense. We’ve had good success securing non-endemic sponsors like Webroot, and that gives us the ability to do some things that you don’t see at other events.
[303cycling] So what can racers expect?
[Tim Shea] No. 1 it’s going to be a professionally run event. That means great prizes for amateur racers, tons of family activities, and just a certain look and feel that will make you feel like you’re part of something big.
More specifically we’re going to have things like a racers tent. This will be a place where racers can get a pre- or post-race drink or snack. And we’ll have Peak Sports Chiropractic in there doing massage and stretching. We basically want to give everyone at least a little taste of what it feels like to be a pro as a reward for their investment in our event. We want people to walk away saying, that was a cool course at a cool venue, my family enjoyed it, I got some cool schwag and I can’t wait to come back next year
Everyone who signs up to race is also going to get a cowbell, a water bottle and a race bag. That all comes from Webroot, who has really gotten behind this event.
[303cycling] How about families and kids? Why should they come out?
[Tim Shea] Well, besides a full day of racing, we’re going to have a big expo, a beer garden and lots of food vendors. For the kids there will be a jumpy castle, a face painter, a kids bike course, an under-8 kids race that’s next to the main course.
I’m a dad with two little girls, so I’ve had them in mind while planning this race. I want them to have fun, too. Of course ’cross is a spectator friendly sport, but when you add in kids activities it just makes it that much more appealing as a whole.
[303cycling] There’s also a fairly substantial charity element to this event?
[Tim Shea] Yeah, we have two things going on. Throughout the day, we’ll be running a raffle with some great prizes. The grand prize is a cruiser bike that’s being provided by the Pedal to Properties real estate company. All proceeds from that will benefit the Boulder Junior Cycling Club.
We’re also doing what I think is a first of its kind running race, where people will actually be running on the cross course. We look at it as a way to bring in another demographic that is obviously huge in this area. And 100 percent of those proceeds are going to the Boulder County Volunteer Firefighters who lost their homes in the Four-Mile Canyon fire.
[303cycling] Finally let’s talk about the course. Who’s designing it?
[Tim Shea] We hired one of the best guys around, Pete Webber. He’s worked at IMBA for years so he knows about trail building. And he’s Colorado reigning state cyclocross champion, so he obviously knows cross. The course itself is a great mix of high speeds, twists, some sand, barriers, everything that makes a well-balanced course.
To see preview photos and video of the new CCC course, go to:
For more complete CCC schedule and registration information, visit: