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Sho-Air Twenty20 cyclist Chloe Dygert-Owen cross the finish line winning for the third time in three days during the Stage 3 of the 2019 Women's Colorado Classic in Golden on Saturday, August 24, 2019. The final and fourth Stage will follow in Denver. (Chancey Bush/ The Gazette)

Organizers of the Colorado Classic on Thursday announced the cancellation of the 2021 road cycling race due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The elite, women’s-only event typically scheduled for August hasn’t been held since 2019, but organizers say they plan to bring back the race in 2022.

“We know that this race holds an important place on both the domestic and international race calendars, and we remain committed to our goal of being the best women’s race in the world,” Ken Gart, chairman of RPM Events Group, said in a news release. “But we hope that by delaying the event to 2022, the pandemic will have stabilized and we’ll be able to secure the necessary financial partners to do our event justice.”

The Colorado Classic launched in 2017 and featured both men and women. In 2019, organizers made the rare decision to drop the men’s event in favor of focusing solely on the women’s race.

That summer, Olympic silver medalist Chloe Dygert won all four stages as many fans lined portions of the course in Steamboat Springs, Avon, Golden and Denver. The racing also was streamed to cycling fans around the world on a variety of platforms.

Last year, hopes were even higher because of the race’s spot on the calendar closely after the Olympics. The plan was to take riders to Snowmass Village, Avon, Boulder and Denver.

“In 2020, we spent months working tirelessly in conjunction with state, county and city organizations, health authorities and the sport’s governing bodies to come up with a COVID mitigation plan that would ensure the health and safety for everyone. In the end, the most prudent decision was still to cancel the event,” Gart said. “With the current situation being just as uncertain as it was last year, we don’t think it makes sense — financial or otherwise — to organize a 2021 event and risk another cancellation.”

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