Featured Stories

  • NEW EVENT: Parker Mainstreet Criterium comes to life!

    If cycling races were like Frankenstein, then it seems some serious voltage has been pumped into the Parker race weekend... it’s “alive” folks. Before all the villagers can storm the castle with torches and pitchforks, keep reading for background and announcements.

    On Friday May 20th we published a story titled “3 Days of Parker Race Cancelled: what happened?” regarding the cancellation of the new Parker event weekend. On May 12th we received reports that a new event had been listed on USA Cycling’s Event page as “pending” – the Parker Mainstreet Criterium? 303 has reached out to the listing organizer of the Mainstreet Criterium, Without Limits Productions, for the scoop on this resurrected event and their comments regarding quotes from former organizing leader Doug Gordon.

    303 Media: So is this the criterium course that was cancelled for rumored financial concerns back in late April by the former organizing body?

    Lance Panigutti – Without Limits Productions: I really wish I could take credit for the course as it’s one of the best we’ve seen, with a stellar downtown feel and finish line, but it was actually developed by town staff last summer. Yes, it is the same course that was cancelled and we’re excited to see the race come back online. New races for cyclists are like seeing Santa drop off more presents Christmas morning.

    303 Media: How did your company get involved after the weekend was fully cancelled?

    Lance Panigutti – WOL: Out of respect for the former organizing group I won’t comment on all details of what went down prior to their cancellation. What I do know is that once the rumors started to spread, we received word from a disappointed town looking to consult a professional event production company on future options. After a few phone calls Tony and I sat down and discussed that it would be a step back for the “cycling season of new events” to have a fully open weekend. So with some extra coffee (Red Bull for myself) we decided we could make a Sunday race viable. It was a long night, but 24hrs later we had a fully insured, branded, and permitted race with registration open on the new website. Really the credit rests with the town staff, police, our traffic control contactor, and medical director who all came together to save a great day of cycling on Mainstreet Parker.

    303 Media: Why not also perform CPR on the time-trial and road race for a full event weekend?

    Lance Panigutti – WOL: Once we discovered that the water pipe project was scheduled for August from PWSD it was extremely tempting. The county and town support have been amazing and we’re confident they would have embraced the time-trial and road race, but there were a couple external factors that had us pump the brakes. Mainly, we’re producing XTERRA Lory, which just sold out, on Saturday June 18th and that’s an extremely demanding event for our staff. It wouldn’t be fair to the XTERRA Triathlon to split our team, or schedule reserve staff this close the event weekend.

    303 Media: Are you concerned about the farmer’s market as Doug Gordon stated, “other weekend events cropped up, such as a farmer’s market just west of the course, that would tax traffic control.”

    Lance Panigutti – WOL: The farmers market was a known factor since January and something we’re excited about. The farmer’s market organizers are excited too, as they see both events as complimentary to each other. Bring the family down and once dad or mom are done racing we invite you to enjoy a family friendly market just a block away!

    303 Media: Why take such a financial risk on an event that Doug Gordon said would lose money, and do you care to comment on Doug Gordon stating, “So Without Limits gets to benefit from all the work we’ve done and cash we’ve spent.”

    Lance Panigutti – WOL: We find it kind of ironic and contradictory that the “for profit” production company is somehow financially benefiting from a criterium which Doug Gordon explicatively stated on two occasions would be a losing venture monetarily. In regards to benefiting from “money spent and work done” we will state for the record that we never utilized, nor ever saw, the TCP (Traffic Control Plan) worked up by the former group. I’d say it’s pretty evident that we have a very different style of event production and it wouldn’t be of any benefit to build upon the plans or history of preceding parties. We’ve seen a lot of cities and towns across Colorado in recent years put in place future event moratoriums due to bad experiences. We didn’t feel it was fair for the cycling industry (racing and recreational) to see Parker close its doors due to one negative experience.

    303 Media: What’s your take on the cost of the beer garden being a preventing factor moving forward as stated by Doug Gordon?

    Lance Panigutti – WOL: We have Ska Brewing beer gardens at a few of our triathlons and the US OPEN of Cyclocross. That cost is nothing new and in line with events around the country. Maybe I’m new to event production, but I didn’t know that a beer garden was a required element to receiving a race permit. Sarcasm aside, the Town of Parker has a number of amazing restaurants just a few walking blocks away. With the town support we’ve received it only seems right to drive athlete traffic to the restaurant district so they can experience all Parker has to offer.

    303 Media: What does the future hold for upcoming seasons?

    Lance Panigutti – WOL: I’d like to thank the Town of Parker, BRAC Staff, USAC, and everyone involved for helping make this year’s criterium possible. We truly believe it’s a course and venue that will quickly become a Colorado staple. The town is very keen to see and embrace a full weekend of racing under our direction moving forward. So far initial discussions with the county, public works, town staff, and police agencies are all geared towards a full weekend come 2017.

    303 Media: Where does that leave the organizing group from earlier this year?

    Lance Panigutti – WOL: Out of respect for the former organizing group, and only knowing pertinent details regarding the viability of all three events this season, it’s not our place to comment on the internal workings of what went wrong between prior parties. All we can say is what we’ve seen over the past 9 years of event production in the cycling, triathlon and running world. Where events are announced publicly, only to be cancelled later that season: 95% of these events never come back for a 2nd year, and if they do are never successful long term. It’s our experience that municipalities will bend over backwards for the initial season, but rarely give 2nd chances when a bridge is burned due to lack of commitment or disorganization. Time will tell as to what will happen, we’re just glad that racers will get to race this year and experience Mainstreet Parker.

  • Tragic death of 8-year-old cyclist in Longmont

    From Daily Times Call

    LONGMONT, Colo. -- An eight-year-old girl is dead after being hit by a truck while riding a bicycle alongside her step-father.

    The crash happened around 3:20 p.m. near the intersection of 17th Avenue and Alpine Street in Longmont.

    Emergency crews at the scene performed CPR on the child, but she died after being taken to Longmont United Hospital.

    A 20-year-old driver of the Ford pick-up truck stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation, police say. He was released pending further investigation.

    The girl and her step-father were westbound on 17th Avenue crossing at Alpine Street, according to Longmont Police. Police earlier had reported the pair were each heading northbound on Alpine Street when the girl was hit by the truck as it was making a turn from northbound Alpine Street to eastbound 17th Avenue.

    Police aren't saying much officially, but one witness told FOX31 Denver's Kent Erdahl he saw the girl take off after the pickup already started turning.

    “The guy in the pickup pulled up, stopped, had his blinker on… started turning… the little girl, took off, the father stayed. The next thing, the little girl got hit. She kind of rolled over to the side and that’s when the back tire ran over her," said Larry Fry.

    Fry said the truck driver stayed on scene and both him and the father were visibly distraught.

    “This happens too many times because kids don’t have the fear of getting hurt and they don’t know what it’s like. It’s a second later and they’re gone from this world,” said Fry. “I feel sorry for the parents and I feel sorry for the truck driver because their lives are completely destroyed right now.”

    Longmont Police say they have not yet determined the traffic light sequencing as of Friday evening.

    Both the child and the driver were residents of the city of Longmont.

  • Stop the Presses! 3-Day Parker Event CANCELLED... Why?

    3 Days of Parker Race Week: What happened?

    303 Media takes a look at a fast developing story regarding the recent cancellation of the new Parker weekend of cycling. Back in the early fall of 2015 the cycling community heard rumors of a brand new weekend of racing down south. Boulderites where shocked - “what do you mean outside the bubble?,” while those south of I-70 rejoiced.
    On Nov 15th at the BRAC road promoters meeting the rumors were confirmed. BRAC had moved its state championship time-trial, traditionally held in late June, to pave the way for a new 3-day cycling race.

    Over the winter the details filtered out of the rumor mill like a slow drip espresso. We heard about a new time-trial course, then a road race course on Hess Rd. At the peak of ski season the rumor mill started to churn again with word of a downtown criterium for Sunday to cap off the event weekend. That’s when news went underground.

    303 learned from BRAC President Doug Gordon that the original race co-organizer, John Haley, had been deployed to Iraq, and Haley asked Gordon to take over the race. The original concept of a time trial Friday June 17, a circuit Road Race on Hess Road Saturday, June 18, and then a Criterium on Sunday June 19 at the Pace Center, was now in play. As the management shifted, some potentially troublesome race logistics appeared, according to Gordon, such as:

    - Timing – with the race weekend coinciding with Father’s Day, other weekend events cropped up, such a Farmers market just west of the race course, that would tax traffic control.
    - Traffic – the TT course on Crowfoot Valley Friday afternoon could be poor timing with weekend traffic.
    - Profit – the Sunday crit, to be held at the Pace Arts Center in Parker, “was going to be really, really difficult to do cost-wise,” according to Gordon. “The amount of traffic furniture rental was going to be huge, and the extra insurance for the beer garden – which UCI doesn’t cover – was going to be an extra $800… we were going to lose money on the crit.”
    - Construction – Gordon came to terms with losing money on the crit, as long as the TT and road race were profitable. But then the news of a water line project surfaced, threatening the road race.

    At first Gordon cancelled the crit, and reduced the race weekend to two days, with the road race on Saturday and the TT on Sunday. But then the uncertainties of the road race course brought down the house of cards. Gordon says, “The road race was the crown jewel of the weekend, and without that it just wasn’t feasible.”

    “I paid for the traffic plans, I had the permit in on time. Altogether we have about 50-75 man hours put in to the creation of this race. But in the end we were told specifically by the county that we would unequivocally be denied access to Ridgegate – the road race route – and I just really felt it would be damaging to the relationships to pursue it,” Gordon says.

    “It became a political thing,” says Gordon. “We waited and waited to hear from the water department on the dates of the construction, but finally I had to give up and say, we’re not going to do it.” In the end it was learned the water line project will not take place until August, but by then Gordon had already pulled the plug.

    This story continues to evolve as new details are emerging regarding new events taking place on the old 3 days of Parker weekend. According to Gordon, Without Limits will be taking over the race weekend, at the invitation of the city of Parker.

    Gordon says, “So Without Limits gets to benefit from all the work we’ve done and the cash we’ve spent. I could be bitter. But in the end more racing in Colorado is a good thing, at the end of the day. We spent an inordinate amount of time and plenty of resources on this project, and I’m really disappointed that we couldn’t make this event what we wanted. But I’m also really happy that some sort of race is happening, and pleased that somebody else can build on the work that was done.”

    Gordon also adds, “Next year, when John Haley is back from Iraq, I’m absolutely convinced we can make this a 3-day event in Parker in the same spirit.”

    303 has reached out to Without Limits and they will respond to the events of this story soon. Currently Without Limits is producing the Superior Morgul 3-Day Cycling event and Summer OPEN Triathlon.

  • Weekend Preview: Here's the Plan

    Cycling Events
    Thursday May 19th
    WMBA Colorado Springs Kick Off
    Colorado Springs

    Women's Mountain Bike Association of Colorado Springs
    Join us for the season kick off

    Friday May 20th
    Superior Morgul TT
    Saturday May 21st
    Superior Circuit
    REI MTB Demo Days
    Valmont Park, Boulder

    Join us for a FREE day of riding the latest and greatest mountain bikes on some of our favorite local trails! From Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, we’re taking our demo fleet all over the Front Range this season to give you an exclusive chance to ride a brand new bike from our expanded Ghost and Cannondale lines. All experience levels are welcome.

    Pony Xpress Gravel Grinder Championships
    Spring Dual Slalom Series SMBA
    Valmont Bike Park
    Sunday May 21st
    McKee Classic Bike Tour
    Ft. Collins
    Morgul Bismark
    Women Bike Colorado Meet & Greet
    Santa Fe Century
    Santa Fe, NM

    Triathlon Events
    Thursday May 19th

    WMBA Colorado Springs Kick Off
    Colorado Springs

    Friday May 20th
    eNRG Performance Triathlon Assessment Clinic

    This clinic is not a training camp. Rather, the professional coaches will be providing expert analysis of swim, bike, and run technique along with a functional strength assessment to determine structural imbalances.

    Saturday May 21st

    Cenna Cycles Weekly Ride

    Summer Open Sprint Tri
    Union Reservoir

    The 9th annual Summer OPEN Sprint Triathlon is the kick off to the Colorado Triathlon Season, and we kick it off in style! It's time to dust off the bike and pull the wetsuit out of the closet for this Colorado spring classic. This race, the 1st stop on the Colorado Tour, takes place at Union Reservoir in Longmont! From beginners tackling their first event to veterans tuning up for a competitive season the Summer OPEN is about friends and teammates, smiling and cheering.

    HITS Triathlons
    Highline State Park, Grand Junction

    Half & Full Distances

    Ft Collins Children’s Tri
    Ft Collins
    eNRG Performance Triathlon Assessment Clinic

    This clinic is not a training camp. Rather, the professional coaches will be providing expert analysis of swim, bike, and run technique along with a functional strength assessment to determine structural imbalances.

    Sunday May 15th
    Tri the Rock Youth Event
    Castle Rock

    All you have to do is try! Is your child a triathlete in the making? Have them pull on their swimsuits, dust off their bikes and lace up their sneakers. It's time for the Town's annual Tri the Rock.

    HITS Triathlons
    Highline State Park, Grand Junction

    Sprint & Olympic Distance

    Ft Collins Sprint Tri
    Ft. Collins
    2nd Original Meowler Mtn Duathlon

    This 40-mile affair is chock full of technically challenging singletrack mountain biking and trail running. The format is bike, run, bike, but there is a unique twist.

    Women Bike Colorado Meet & Greet
    eNRG Performance Triathlon Assessment Clinic

    This clinic is not a training camp. Rather, the professional coaches will be providing expert analysis of swim, bike, and run technique along with a functional strength assessment to determine structural imbalances.

  • Golden Cyclist Jesse Swift Victim of Stabbing

    UPDATE 10PM 5/17/16 - from friend Russell Kappius:

    Spent some time with Jesse Swift tonight and am happy to say he's doing very well all things considered. He headed into surgery to fix some internal injuries about 7pm tonight. Over time, he should recover fully physically.

    What will likely take more time is recovering from such a brutal and violent act by other human beings. Prayers and good vibes to him and his family as they work through the trauma. Not sure how I would deal with such brutality.

    I think the best thing you can do is give your family a great big hug. Jesse and Jessica would like that.

    From Denver Post

    Debra Bergquist rushed to her neighbor's home Monday night to find Jessica Swift, shaken and screaming, her husband lying on the porch bleeding from several stab wounds.

    Golden police had arrived at the small, wood-shingled house, and two of the three males who had forced their way in — mistakenly believing they would find $10,000 and drugs — had fled.

    "They went to the wrong home," police spokeswoman Karlyn Tilley said of the suspects.

    The third suspect, Caleb Williams, 20, was inside the house, suffering from a stab wound inflicted by Jesse Swift, Jessica's husband, as Swift tried to protect his family.

    "She was in the yard, hysterical. I just went and held her, and I tried to go and get the kids and bring them here," Bergquist said.

    Police arrested another suspect, who isn't being identified because he is a juvenile, after the home invasion in the 1900 block of Washington Avenue.

    A third adult male, who police say is Cody Aaron Jones, 20, remains at large, and police believe there is a fourth suspect, a woman who drove a getaway vehicle.

    Read the full story HERE.

    Golden's Jesse Swift - beloved middle school teacher, cyclist, youth MTB coach, husband, father - was the victim in a stabbing Monday night.

    9News reported it was a case of mistaken identity, when three men with knives broke into the Swift household, mistaking the house for another in a reported drug deal. Jesse armed himself with a knife and defended his family; his children were in the basement. He sustained "very serious injuries" and is currently hospitalized:

    Jesse and his family will not be able to move back into their home following this event and will need assistance with housing and relocation. Any donated funds will help this. Please see the GoFundMe link below.

    Jesse has been a favorite of 303 for years:
    ...Jesse and his bright bike (are) all over the place. He's just one of those guys that loves to ride his bike. And when people love something that much, it tends to be infectious. So it came as no surprise to me when I caught a picture on Instagram about his middle school mtb club. I had to know more. Meet Jesse Swift. The man behind the "Golden Beard..."
    (Read the full story HERE)

    GoFundMe Page for Jesse Swift
    Around 9 p.m. on May 16, 2016, Jesse was attacked and critically injured in a home invasion. His wife and two young children were home at the time but were unharmed. Jesse fought back, causing two of the three men to flee (likely saving his family from harm), and critically injuring his attacker. As of 12:30 a.m. May 17, Jesse was out of surgery and in the ICU. Jesse is not only a person who is referred to as the "nicest guy" after something terrible happens - he is a rare and spectacular soul about whom everyone launches into accolades and praise at any mention of his name. He is a devoted husband and father of two beautiful children, a high-achieving and widely respected middle school teacher, and a fierce, fast and fun competitive mountain biker known across the West for his good sportsmanship and character (and for being damn fast). From all of these things, he is best and most widely known for his character-defining work ethic, compassion, wisdom, and unrelenting passion for life - and especially for his family and students. Jesse's remarkable qualities have always made him someone of whom others speak with admiration and with deep appreciation for knowing him. Jesse has helped everyone who knows him, although he'll humbly talk it down, and now it's our turn to return the favor. At this point, the costs associated with his recovery and with this event are incalculable. The current focus for the Swift family are Jesse's life and the safety of the family, but the financial impact will soon follow. For every moment he's spent with his children, for every memory he's made with his wife, for every student whose life he's touched, and for every one of the infinite acts of kindness that Jesse has constantly performed, please thank him with a donation. The world is an immensely better place because of Jesse Swift. Let's show him we appreciate that.