Nevada City gears up for Classic bike race Sunday |

Nevada City gears up for Classic bike race Sunday

Submitted to The Union


WHAT: 59th annual Nevada City Classic Bicycle Race

WHEN: Sunday, June 2: Kids Parade, 11 a.m.; Nevada City Mile, 11:15 a.m.; Jr. Male/Female, 11:50 a.m.; Elite Men 4/5, Master Men 35+, 12:40 p.m.; Women Elite 4/5, Master Women 35+/45+, 1:30 p.m.; Master Men 1/2/3, 2:30 p.m. Elite Men 3/4, Jr. Male 15-18, 3:30 p.m.; Women Pro, 4:30 p.m.; Men Pro, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Nevada City


2019 marks the 59th anniversary of the Nevada City Pro/Am Cycling Classic, the second oldest continuously running bicycle race in the country.

Established in 1961 by Charlie Allert, a native of Dresden, Germany, the Nevada City Classic combines Allert’s two passions of lithography and bicycle racing — he was a bicycle racer and master lithographer before arriving in Nevada City by way of San Francisco. Artistic posters commemorate each race year, with the long established series of posters first designed by Allert and now continued by local and national artists alike.

For the second year, Sunday’s race will return to the original course, designed by Allert.

“We see the return to the original Classic course as way to preserve the history of the race as we prepare for 2020 and the 60th running of the Nevada City Bicycle Classic,” Longtime race director Duane Strawser said in a news release. “It is something racers have requested and we’re excited to return to this popular format.”

The Nevada City Classic is supported by over 100 volunteers each year. Sierra Express Bicycle Club and Racing Team have participated for over 20 years, with many members returning year after year to help lay out the course, stack the hay bales needed for safety and keep the constant course monitoring and safety practices in place.

“Many of us are dedicated cyclists who love to ride,” Karen Chizek said in the release. “Volunteering for the NC Classic is a way to share our passion for cycling with our town and also showcase it for visitors. It’s hard work, but great fun.”

She should know. Chizek and her husband Frank have helped prepare the course since 1987 and have many memories of hosting racing teams at their home, like the entire Pro SRAM Team some years ago.

In 1997, the race was designated a USAC National Classic Pro Points Series Race, and 13 years later, in 2010, its course became the starting point of the Stage 1 of the AMGEN Tour of California. With total prizes of over $8,000, the historic race frequently draws top talent from both the West and East coasts. The Women’s and Junior divisions are very competitive with entrants including some of the best future Jr. riders as well as many world-class Women’s competitors.

The third annual Nevada City Mile is an all ages running race that takes place on the same route as the bike race on Sunday, June 2 between bicycle race categories. Top short-distance track and road runners attend from around the West Coast.

“We are excited to include the second annual Brewfest and other community events that warrant a dedicated weekend,” said Cathy Whittlesey, Nevada City Chamber of Commerce executive director. “Fans, racers, family, and friends will each find something during this exceptional time in Nevada City.”

Source: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

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