Search the news archive:
Snowmass Pro Stage Race set to welcome NRC women’s teams
By Imelda March
Date: 8/15/2011
Snowmass Pro Stage Race set to welcome NRC women’s teams
Colavita/Forno D’Asolo, Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12, HTC High Road, NOW and Novartis for MS, Primal/Map My Ride, Wheelworks, TIBCO/To the Top, and Team Ajax Tavern—representing about 50 percent of the National Racing Calendar (NRC) registered teams with USA Cycling—are scheduled to participate in the first Aspen Snowmass Women’s Pro Stage Race. Presented by United Healthcare, the race will be held August 22-24 in Aspen, Colorado.

According to Jessica Phillips, Team Ajax Tavern member and the brainchild behind the race along with two other local men, the team wanted to create a race that responds to the needs of the women’s racing community.

“The efforts began in November 2010 through an underground movement of calling and emailing with members of the women’s cycling community,” said Phillips. In their outreach the organizers asked, “What would it take for you and your team to travel to Colorado to race?” The unanimous answer received--a stage race. Phillips and her planning team rapidly formed a not-for-profit organization to ensure that sponsors and contributors could benefit from tax write-offs for their donations to the race.

“I am not making a dime for putting on this race,” she stated. The sole goal for staging the event is to raise funds for the race and to help women’s racing in the area. “We started selling membership to the team and had a fundraiser to help with the costs of putting on the race.” In addition, while in Europe, Phillips received an email from seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong asking, “How can I help?” Shortly after the email, Phillips and her team received a check for more than $3,000.

Also, team HTC-Highroad stepped up and provided a spot in the men’s car for up-close viewing of the race. The opening bid for the spot is $5,000; however, there have been no takers yet.

Phillips is enthusiastic about the event despite the negative emails she has received thus far stating that she is not doing a good job marketing it. The negativity has not dampened her spirits and her work behind the scenes appears to be paying off. Her goal is to have 40-50 women at the starting line. At press time, there were 34 women from nearly half the NRC teams in USA Cycling, including multi-French racing and current Time Trial champion Jeannie Longo are registered.


Total Purse: $9,000

Race Website: Aspen Snowmass Women’s Pro Stage Race.

Race classification: Three-day stage race

Stage 1: Monday, August 22 - Time Trial – 7.6 miles
This stage is comprised of 10,000 feet elevation climbs.

Stage 2: Tuesday, August 23 – Snowmass Circuit Race – 3.6-mile loop
The women will cover the circuit approximately 12 times or 43.2 miles with a heavy dose of 9,000 feet elevation climbs.

Stage 3: Wednesday, August 24 - Criterium – 60 minutes
A figure eight and mainly flat downtown race course that will share the men’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge finish line. While the women arrive one hour before the men’s finish, their race’s winners will share the podium with the men’s finishers.

Scoring: Omnium

Awards: Top 20 for overall/general classification (GC) finishers and top-10 daily stage prizing.

The Aspen Snowmass Women’s Pro Stage Race will rely on about 50 volunteers to keep things under control for the race.


The Race Bible has not yet been posted on the Team Ajax Tavern. However, the complete Race Bible can be found by visiting Race Bible for the Aspen-Snowmass Women's Pro Stage Race.


The Aspen Snowmass Women’s Pro Stage Race does not have any social media presence whatsoever; instead all social media communication is through the team’s Twitter account, @ajaxcyclingteam.

In addition, Phillips’ fiancée Tejay van Garderen (HTC Highroad) has tweeted about the event.

The event has no plans for live tweets, video feeds/live images or television sports recaps despite all the media blitz and television coverage scheduled for the men’s event--USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #aspenwpro.


The event management is definitely bringing back the race in 2012. Though Phillips said her goal is not to be a race promoter but to build the not-for-profit.

At press time, it was not yet decided how the women’s stage race results would be incorporated as part of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge media blitz.

With lots of local publicity directed at the inaugural Aspen Snowmass Women’s Pro Stage Race, Phillips and her team hope for more local involvement to push this race further for years to come.

About the author: Imelda March lives in Chicago and is a member of Team Kenda. She is a frequent contributor to The Daily Peloton Cycling News team, reporting on women’s cycling issues and general peloton ramblings. Imelda is an experienced racer who also holds an MBA and is a marketing strategy expert.

Celebrating our tenth year!

Copyright © 2002-2011 by Daily Peloton.
| contact us |