Riding on; Nevada City Classic bounces back from dismal year | TheUnion.com

Riding on; Nevada City Classic bounces back from dismal year

The crowds showed up, the riders competed, and the 58th installation of the Nevada City Classic went off without a hitch Sunday on the streets of downtown Nevada City.

Two major changes to this year's race — pushing the event back a week and reverting to the original course — left some wondering if the second oldest continuously operating bicycle race in the country could bounce back from last year's dismal attendance.

"We've got a lot of improvements to make but the crowds were about double from last year even with the heat. The racers were double from last year, even with the heat," race organizer Duane Strawser said following the event.

"So I think in general people liked the new, old course, which we weren't sure how they would take it."

Forty-one registrants took part in the men's pro race, while 12 pro women riders competed against each other on the Nevada City course.

First place men's pro race cyclist, and Mike's Bike's team rider, Chris Riekert was elated to take the top spot on the podium.

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"This race, for me, when I first started racing was such a big deal," Riekert said following his win.

"To be included in that group of past winners, and to be able to have that team support, was huge."

Fellow Mike's Bike's team rider Aria Kiani took second place on the podium, while Robert Skinner out of San Jose took third place.

Women's pro race winner Lisa Cordova from Chico took the top spot on the podium, while Amity Gregg of San Francisco took second. Ellie Velez of El Dorado Hills took third place.

Whether or not next year's Nevada City Classic will occur on the weekend following Father's Day again, remains in the hands of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce according to Strawser.

"People in general had a good vibe, sponsors jumped back on board," Strawser said. "At this point the crowd response was good in that sense, so I think it could be a good thing moving forward."

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com, or call 530-477-4230.