Fort Follies Grand PrixBy Chris Johnson

On August 24th, just hours before the pro men storm Fort Collins for the finish of the 6th and potentially decisive stage of the USAPC, Some of the best road racers in the country will converge on Old Town Fort Collins for a fast, aggressive day of racing at the Fort Collins Women’s Grand Prix.   

Over the past few years, Fort Collins has emerged as a hotbed for women’s bike racing.   Local Georgia Gould has spent the past several years at the sharp end of the off road racing scene, including USGP of Cyclocross wins, national championships and podiums at both the olympics and world championships last year.   She’s also been a vociferous advocate for the advancement of women’s racing.

One time resident Meredith Miller won the USAC Road National Championship in 2009, and more recently, current resident Amanda Miller (profiled by the Coloradoan HERE), took 6th place at nationals, adding to a prestigious career that’s has seen countless high profile wins and showings over several years.   

Another local pro, Whitney Schultz, of Colavita-Fine Cooking Cycling, has been leading the charge on the homefront, founding the Fort Follies Womens Cycling Team, a program Whitney dreamed up to inspire and develop women racers of all experience levels and ambitions.   Now nearly 50 strong, Follies have made a huge impression on the Northern Colorado community with their group rides, clinics, and this month, co-sponsorship of the popular, long running City Streets Criterium Series, with First City Cycling Team.   

Whitney’s Follies, again in conjunction with First City Cycling, are staging a once in a lifetime crit course, that will use the existing finish line for the men’s race, and run a circuit of Olive, Peterson, Mountain Ave, and… wait for it. College Ave.   thats right… pro bike racing on College Ave!

The Follies, USAPC, and the stage Local Organizing Committee have been working hard on the logistics of this race, and the Follies have launched a GoFundMe campaign ( to supplement the sponsorship hunt. With much of the infrastructure provided by the USAPC, a big chunk of the projected cost is prize money, which is a necessary incentive to ensure top talent and a great field show up.

The Follies’ mission of promoting women’s racing is an important component of Fort Collins’ broader commitment to encouraging more women to ride bikes.      FC Bikes Program Manager Tessa Greegor offered her support of the initiative, noting that the disparity in numbers between male and female bike commuters is an ongoing challenge, and strong role models and leadership initiatives like Fort Follies are invaluable to fostering confidence among women and to growing the bike movement and culture in Fort Collins.   

With spectator projections for stage 6 anywhere from 50-100,000 out of town visitors, Fort Collins has a once in a lifetime opportunity to promote our culture and our values and tell the world a story.   Dont miss the Grand Prix, and consider lending your support or inquiring about sponsorship opportunities.   With the right support, we can make this race a Northern Colorado tradition and a symbol of our commitment to women’s cycling.  

If you are interested in helping the Follies fund the Fort Collins Grand Prix, please donate here: