Editorial: Why the silence over Aspen Cycling Criterium cancellation? | AspenTimes.com

Editorial: Why the silence over Aspen Cycling Criterium cancellation?

Over the past decade, one of the hallmarks of the spring offseason was the Aspen Cycling Criterium, which was held downtown.

The event not only attracted competitive cyclists and fans of the sport, it also drew locals and families who would take in this unique race on an otherwise sleepy spring day in Aspen. Spectators would line the streets of Aspen, rooting for the cyclists on every hairpin turn they made. The spectator-friendly sport made for a good time.

The event was part of the Aspen Cycling Festival, which also includes the Ride for the Pass, which is set to run again on Saturday.

But the criterium is no longer. City officials quietly nixed the event on the basis that participation was dwindling and a similar event was being staged the same weekend in Boulder.

That’s certainly a plausible explanation, but we’re disappointed that the city didn’t let the public know. Sponsored and partly funded by the city, the Aspen Cycling Criterium was launched in 2004. It was not a fly-by-night event, but rather an established one.

Unfortunately, it took an Aspen cycling fan and racer to alert the media about the cancellation.

The city does a fine job of keeping the public apprised about a number of events it has on tap — from last Saturday’s Arbor Day festivities at Paepcke Park to this Saturday’s do-it-yourself class on how to install a radon mitigation system in your home.

But we’re miffed that the city chose not to simply inform the public that a decade-old event had run its course. It would have been in the public’s best interest to do.

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