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Watch the champions in Colorado Springs...or bring your own bike.

Watch the champions in Colorado Springs ... or bring your own bike For the first time, the modern day World Cycling Championships will take place in the United States. Beginning this month in Colorado Springs, this year's meet is expected to be particularly exciting: you'll be able to watch U.S. team members race against the Soviet and Eastern Bloc riders they missed meeting in the 1984 Olympics. For years a European favorite, the international event should give the sport a big boost here.

To celebrate the championships, Colorado Springs (1-1/2 hours south of Denver) offers several related events--record-setting bike races, tours, and a parade and concert. If you're going to be nearby in late August, you'll find a side trip worthwhile.

Race sites, tickets, what to bring

Track racing events are held at the 7-Eleven/U.S. Olympic Training Center Velodrome in Memorial Park, Union Boulevard and Pikes Peak Avenue.

Official records can be set only by solo riders racing against the clock, not during competitions. Cyclists make their attempts at the velodrome on August 16 for world marks. The velodrome's smooth concrete track is fast, and Colorado Springs' thin air (6,000-foot altitude) offers cyclists little resistance, making it likely that new records will be set this year. Action begins at 7 P.M. Tickets ($3) are available at the door.

More than 700 riders from 50 or more countries will complete in the world championships, held from August 27 through September 7. American cyclists to watch: Mark Gorski, Greg LeMond, Nelson Vails, and a strong women's team with Connie Paraskevin, Inga Thompson, and Rebecca Twigg.

Championship track races are run in the velodrome August 27 (9 A.M.), August 28 (6 P.M.), and August 29 through September 1 (9 and 6). Tickets in the 8,000-seat velodrome cost $5 to $15 and are available by telephone: (303) 577-9751. They are expected to sell out. Team time-trial races are run on September 4, beginning at 10 A.M.

Road races will be held on September 6 at 9 and September 7 at 11 at the scenic U.S. Air Force Academy, 15 miles north of downtown. From Interstate 25, take the North Gate exit and follow the signs.

You must have a parking pass to watch the road races, but you will need seating tickets in only two areas. Passes and tickets are available at the gate or by telephone at the number above. A parking pass costs $15 for the inner area (closest to start and finish), $10 for the outer area; a two-day pass saves 15 percent.

Seating along the 9-1/2-mile course is free anywhere except in the bleachers and on the hillside near the homestretch. Bleacher seating costs $10 per day, hillside $5. Free shuttle buses run between parking areas, four food pavilions, and the start-finish area.

Bring chairs or a blanket to sit on. Shade is limited and August days average 79 [deg.], so bring sunglasses and sunscreen as well. And if you don't want to buy meals at the food pavilions, you can also bring a picnic.

A race-watching guide for novices

For spectators new to bike racing, here's a brief lexicon.

A bunch, field, pack, or peloton is a clump of riders. Attack: one racer's move to break away from the bunch. Bridge: a departure from one bunch to move ahead and join another. Jump: a burst of speed. Drafting: riding close behind another racer in order to be pulled along in his slipstream. Bell lap: the final lap.

The events you'll see here:

Match sprint: 1,000 meters; racers try to hang behind and draft, then sprint the final 200 meters.

Kilometer: a single rider races against the clock.

Pursuit: contestants (individuals or teams) start at opposite ends of the track and race to catch one another.

Keirin: a five-lap race in which cyclists start from a straight line and try to keep up with a pace-setting motorcycle which speeds up gradually. The last lap is a mad sprint to the finish.

Tandem: a five-lap race between two tandem bike teams.

The sleek-suited racers hit speeds of 40 to 55 mph on light (10- to 15-pound) single-geared machines. Track bikes have no brakes and the kilometer and pursuit races are run on bikes using disk, or spokeless, wheels--devices that increase speed but reduce stability.

Other biking events, self-guided touring around Colorado Springs

A parade with floats and bands on August 26 begins at 10:30 A.M. at Tejon and St. Vrain streets. It ends at Acacia Park (Tejon and Platt Avenue), followed by a concert at noon.

On September 1, you can join an 18-mile guided bike ride from Memorial Park to Manitou Springs, an old mining town in the nearby hills and the site of an arts festival. The ride begins at 7:30 A.M.; entry fee is a $1 donation. You can also watch a men's race through Garden of the Gods park on September 2 at 2 P.M.

Touring the Garden of the Gods on your own takes you through stunning ocher sandstone formations. It's a moderately challenging ride, primarily on lightly trafficked streets, but elevation ranges from 6,000 to 7,000 feet, so wait till you've adjusted to the altitude, don't overtax yourself, and bring plenty of water. Also take along the city's Bicycle Access route map ($1 at bike shops, the visitor center, and chamber of commerce).

One possible self-guided tour is a 13-mile loop trip from the Fine Arts Museum (Cascade Avenue and Cache La Poudre). Head west on Cache La Poudre over the bike bridge and up the steady 3-mile incline of Mesa Road; watch for traffic. Turn left on W. 30th Street, then right on Gateway Road into the Garden of the Gods. (If you like, end your ride here and tour the garden.) Stay on the main road, Garden Drive, which dips and curves gently, but watch out for sightseeing drivers. For a 9-mile ride, you can double back at Balanced Rock; or turn right onto Manitou Avenue and follow it to Manitou Springs for shopping and restaurants.

To return, follow bike route signs down Manitou AVenue, El Paso Boulevard, and Pikes Peak Boulevard. Turn left on Spruce Street, then right at the Cache La Poudre bike bridge back to the museum.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:1986 World Cycling Championships
Date:Aug 1, 1986
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