A host of top riders from across the U.S. and beyond will converge on Fitchburg, Massachusetts for the 49th annual Fitchburg Longsjo Classic from July 3-6. The event is dedicated to the memory of Arthur Longsjo, the first American to compete in both Winter and Summer Olympics during the same year. It is the second oldest pro/am cycling competition in the U.S. and the only east coast stage race on the National Race Calendar (NRC).
"The talent and diversity of the racers is a real tribute to Art Longsjo and the hundreds of volunteers who have helped put this race on for nearly 50 years," said Fitchburg Cycling Club president George Gantz.
Several professional squads have confirmed their participation in this year's race, including Bissell Pro Cycling, Kenda / Raleigh Cycling Team, Team Type 1, Team Colavita / Sutter Home, Targetraining and Team Budget Forklifts. Race organisers have also revealed the attendance of an Australian team making the 15-hour plane journey to attend the event.
Jonathan Page (Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON/Sonoma), Shawn Milne (Team Type 1) and Jacob Rytlewski (Rite Aid) are all past winners set to return, while other big names include 2007 U.S. cyclo-cross champion Tim Johnson (HealthNet-Maxxis), Tour de Georgia stage winner Richard England (Bissell Pro Cycling), local favourite Jesse Anthony (Team Type 1) and U.S. criterium champion Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home).
Nearly 800 riders from will compete across eight different categories, competing for a total of $51,500 in prize money. The racing gets underway on Thursday July 3 with the Royal Plaza Time Trial, a 6.2-mile race against the clock with the pros starting at 3.30 pm.
Friday sees the pro men's field tackle the 104-mile Wachusett Mountain Road Race, a gruelling 11-mile course through Princeton centre with a spectacular finish at the 2,000-foot summit of Wachusett Mountain. The pro riders will start shortly after noon at the ski area.
On Saturday the racing shifts to the Fitchburg State College Circuit Race, a 3.1 mile loop through the hilly streets of Fitchburg, with the pros starting at 2:00 pm.
The race concludes on Sunday July 6, with the Workers' Credit Union Criterium. This fast-paced, exciting race runs right past the Longsjo Memorial, with multiple laps around a 0.9-mile loop through historic downtown Fitchburg, with the pros starting at 2:05 pm.
For more information, please visit www.longsjo.com