As one of the oldest and largest pro/am cycling competitions in North America, the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic expects nearly 900 riders for its 49th annual event to be held this year over the fourth of July weekend. The race, which is on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, attracts top racers from around the world, including many national champions and Olympic competitors.
The four-day competition is accompanied by a variety of community events and celebrations, beginning with opening day festivities on July 2nd and continuing through four days of racing from July 3rd through July 6th. The races will feature riders in eight different categories, including Women's Pro/1/2 and Men's Pro/1. Other categories include Men's Category 2, Category 3, Category 4, Masters and Juniors and Women's Category 3/4. The event is part of the Lance Armstrong Junior race series (LAJORS). The top Masters 45+ and Women Cat 4 riders, who will be racing with the Masters 35+ and Women 3 fields, respectively, will also be recognized at the final podium presentations.
This year $51,000 in prize money will be awarded, with the Men's Pro/1 prize pool at $25,000 and the Women's Pro/1/2 at $12,500. Racers in all categories are encouraged to register early to secure a spot - many categories are expected to fill early this year. Registration is on-line only at www.bikereg.com.
As the second oldest pro/am cycling race in North America, the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic honors the memory of Arthur Longsjo, a Fitchburg native and the first US athlete to compete in the Winter and Summer Olympics in the same year (1956). Art's accomplishments have been recognized by his posthumous induction into the Cycling Hall of Fame and Speed Skating Hall of Fame. The oldest U.S. cycling race still in existence is the Tour of Somerville, which Art Longsjo won in 1958.