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Digital Subscriptions > Bikes Etc > March 2018 > BOULDER, COLORADO

BOULDER, COLORADO

In the heartlands of of the American southwest lies a paradise for cyclists that has great infrastructure, a fascinating race scene and some of the best riding anywhere in the world

GREAT ESCAPES

INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURES IN CYCLING

HEAD OUT OF BOULDER AND IT’S NOT LONG BEFORE YOU HIT SPECTACULAR MOUNTAIN ROADS

Convenience, accessibility, terrain, weather… There are many reasons why certain areas around the world seem to lend themselves so much towards cycling, especially pro cycling. In Europe there are cities such as Ghent, Nice, Lucca, Varese and Girona. All of these metropolitan centres lure top pro cyclists towards their glittering streets and back roads with, of course, the rest of us following on behind.

Similarly in the US, there are several urban centres that stake a fair claim to being a true ‘Bike City’. But there is only one clear winner when it comes to choosing which is America’s cycling capital, and that is Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder is a large and peaceful town to the northwest of Denver. It lies to the western fringe of the mile-high Colorado Plateau, right of the Front Range. Boulder, too, is the doorstep to the grandiose Rocky Mountains.

It has for decades been the effective heart of American cycling. For sure, numerous American greats have pedalled out from here over the years, retracing the steps of the original Wild West pioneers by returning boldly to Europe and carving their way into the once almost closed pro race scene. Those early exports included many of the legendary 7-Eleven team of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

The first real Boulder-based rider to make the very big time was Andy Hampsten – he of Giro d’ Italia glory and almost of Tour glory, too. And he nearly began a trend of pro racers basing themselves in Boulder, a trend which has intensified over the past decade or so, with a whole rotating bunch of US and foreign riders setting up camp here.

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