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The 59th Annual Nevada City Classic Pro/Am Bicycle Race will be run June 2, 2019 in historic downtown Nevada City. This scenic event is the oldest continuously running Pro/Am race on the West Coast. Photo by Kris Wakefield

NEVADA CITY, CA. April 10, 2019 – 2019 marks the 59th anniversary of the Nevada City Pro/Am Cycling Classic, the second oldest continuously running bicycle race in the country. 2019 makes history by returning to the original course for the second year, designed by race founder Charlie Allert, and breaks history by separating the event from Father’s Day, as they did in 2018, with the new date on Sunday, June 2, 2019.

The Nevada City Classic is one of the largest and oldest Pro/Am bicycle races on the West Coast, as well as the second-oldest Pro/Am criterium in the United States. It is a demanding and highly scenic course—completely unique—as racers navigate sharp corners, climb steep hills and speed by classic Victorian homes.

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 an esteemed 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.

Photo by Kris Wakefield

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

Famous riders have raced throughout the years with some of the most memorable being wins that were unexpected. The 1961 and 1962 races were won by Bob Tetzlaff, a Los Gatos school teacher. Greg LeMond was the winner over three consecutive years from 1979-81 and he was subsequently honored when the Nevada City, City Council proclaimed August 11, 1986 as “Greg LeMond Day.” Some 20,000 race fans were there to see crowd favorite Toby Power win in 1982 to chants of “Toby, Toby.” Power had narrowly lost to Greg LeMond the previous year.

In 1997, the race was designated a USAC National Classic Pro Points Series Race, and thirteen 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 $8000, 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 3rd 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. Fans, racers, family, and friends will each find something during this exceptional time in Nevada City.” notes Cathy Whittlesey, Nevada City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. Long time race director Duane Strawser adds “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. It is something racers have requested and we’re excited to return to this popular format.” 

NEVADA CITY CLASSIC 2019 & CYCLING EVENT WEEKEND

Nevada City Classic: June 2, 2019

Free and open to the public.

Race registrants visit www.nevadacityclassic.com/ for divisions and details.

Brewfest: Saturday June 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Three Forks Bakery & Brewery Parking lot at 211 Commercial Street, Nevada City, CA

Gold Country Challenge: Saturday, June 1, 2019, Grass Valley, CA. The Gold Country Rotary Club of Grass Valley, along with Big Brothers Big Sisters, offers a day of biking. This event consists of four road rides from a century to a half metric, two gravel rides, and a recreational gravel ride. The rides cover the scenic Gold Country of Western Nevada County http://www.rotarygoldcountrychallenge.com/

General event information: https://www.nevadacitychamber.com/nevada-city-events/nevada-city-bicycle-classic/

Learn more about Nevada City lodging, dining and activities at Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, 132 Main Street, Nevada City, CA or www.NevadaCityChamber.com .