Nevada City Classic targets 2022 return
The Nevada City Classic, widely known as one of the most challenging and historic criterium bicycle races in the country, is targeting a return in June 2022.
“At this point we’re looking at hitting a reset and going back to our normal June date, which will be either a week before, or on Father’s Day,” said race organizer Duane Strawser. “That will be determined based on national and international race calendars.”
Strawser had originally hoped to put on the 60th iteration of the Nevada City Classic this coming September, but cited potential obstacles concerning fire season, a possible COVID-19 surge, a short turnaround for sponsors and a changing dynamic with the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.
The race, which started in 1961 and was won by Bob Tetzlaff, has been a staple of the Nevada County sporting scene for more than five decades. Over the years, the race has drawn thousands of spectators and hosted some of the biggest names in the sport, including Greg LeMond, Scott Moninger and Lance Armstrong.
Strawser, who is also on the Nevada City Council, said the race is important on several levels.
“When it comes to the cycling industry and competitive cycling worldwide, (the Nevada City Classic) has a huge effect in North America on cycling as a sport in general,” he said. “It’s not just a little local bike race you throw together at a business park. It gains international media attention and has drawn the sport’s biggest names back in the day. All the top cyclists came here. It’s critical to the sport in general. It’s one of the more iconic races in the country.”
Strawser, who has been running the event since 2000 and before that competed in it multiple times, also emphasized the positive attention it brings to Nevada City.
“As far as the local fabric, the media coverage that this draws, there’s nothing that compares,” he said. “This is the one thing we have every year, even if we only have two people (in-person) watching, it still goes out to millions with the media coverage, whether they are readers, television watchers or radio listeners. We don’t have anything else like it.”
Cyclist Gavin Murray, who won the Men’s Pro race in 2019, spoke highly of the race.
“It’s awesome, it’s one of the best put together races and one of the most dynamic races,” Murray said in 2019. “It’s super kick ya in the teeth, so it feels good to do well.”
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com
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Collin Rutherford celebrated a return to his hometown on Aug. 22 by scoring a hole-in-one at the Nevada County Country Club.