May 28, 2011

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

[Page: S3421]  GPO's PDF 


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Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, today I recognize the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in which bicyclists race the steam-powered Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad from Durango to Silverton. May 28, 2011 will mark the 40th anniversary of this race which is an institution in my home State of Colorado.

This year's race has attracted some 2,500 racers from 44 States and 5 countries and 3,500 riders participating in all of the weekend's many cycling related events.

This race is the third oldest continuously sanctioned bike race in the United States and probably the most grueling of them all. The Iron Horse Classic is a 50-mile race that takes riders over two beautiful mountain passes in Colorado's awe inspiring San Juan Mountains. The race course tops out at 10,860 feet and has a vertical climb of some 6,600 feet for every racer.

The race is one that many professional bike racers compete in at some point in their career with many Olympians, National and World Champions riding in the race over the decades.

Organized for decades by cycling legend Ed Zink of Durango, the Iron Horse Classic is a tremendous asset to all of southwest Colorado. The race's economic impact on our economy is around $2 million each year and it has donated around $500,000 to local causes over the years.

As I am sure you can imagine, this is a grueling event for which all riders put in many long months of training.

I am proud to recognize all the riders, staff, volunteers and community members from southwest Colorado who have made the Iron Horse Classic into a premier Colorado cycling event on this its 40th anniversary.

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(Senate - May 26, 2011)

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