The LoToJa Bicycle Classic is a 206-mile (332 km), one-day amateur bicycle road race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY, USA. It is usually held in September the first Saturday after Labor Day, and attracts national and International participants. LoToJa is one of the longest one-day road cycling races in the U.S, and is the longest one-day race sanctioned by USA Cycling, the sport's governing body based in Colorado Springs, CO. The race began in 1983 and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012. In 1983 the race had nine participants. In 2011, it had over 1,500 riders.
LoToJa is pronounced “LOE-to-juh” by some and "la-TOE-juh" by others. It starts at the Sunrise Cyclery bike shop in Logan, Utah and heads north into southeastern Idaho and winds across western Wyoming. The finish line is near the base of the Grand Teton at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (at Teton Village), one of America's top ski destinations. Along the scenic 206-mile (332 km) course are three mountain passes, plus hilly to rolling terrain that results in nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) of vertical climbing.
LoToJa attracts a variety of male and female riders, from top-level amateur racers who are licensed by USA Cycling, to recreational cyclists who just want to cross the finish line and live to tell the tale. Because of the event's wide appeal, there are over 30 different ability and/or age categories, plus a non-competitive fun ride or Gran Fondo class. Categories also include tandems and relay teams. All categories and classes leave Logan in timed intervals.
To win or even place in a respective LoToJa category is a prestigious achievement. Some past winners have gone on to professional cycling careers, such as Levi Leipheimer (Team RadioShack) and Marty Jemison (U.S. Postal). Other big name amateur winners over the years include Scott Moninger and John Frey. In addition to being a bicycle race, LoToJa is a major fund-raiser for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Autism Spectrum Disorder Connections and other medical research foundations. To date, LoToJa sponsors and riders have raised over US$750,000 for these causes.
LoToJa was created by two avid cyclists, David Bern and Jeff Keller in Logan, Utah who wanted to give Utah racers an idea of what it would be like to compete in a one-day European spring classic like the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix or Liege-Bastogne-Liege. From 1983 to 1985, LoToJa’s distance was 186 miles (299 km) and the finish line was in the town of Jackson. In 1986, the distance was expanded to 206 miles (332 km) and the finish line was moved to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
The current course record was set by Leon Bergant from Slovenia, with the time of 8:57:19. The women’s course record, 9:44:57, also set in 2010, is held by Jenn Halladay of Kuna, ID. Halladay's average speed was approximately 21 mph (33.8 km/hr).
A 13-year-old boy is the youngest cyclist to finish the course in one day. The oldest is 74. It is estimated the average LoToJa rider will burn up to 15,000 calories on race day and take approximately 11 hours to complete the event.
2007 Edition of LOTOJA – 25th Anniversary
The 2007 race included roughly 1,400 people from 40 different states in the United States. The fastest time in the 2007 edition of the race was posted by Mark Zimbelman, a resident of Provo, Utah, who won the masters 45+ category. His time of 9:06:44 was also good for a course record with Mark Schaefer finishing less than a wheel length behind. Schaefer and Zimbelman led the race alone for the last 100 miles (160 km). The winner of the Men's Pro Category 1 and 2 race was Cameron Hoffman of Clearfield, Utah with a time of 9:24:18.
2009 Edition of LOTOJA – new course record
Zimbelman's course record held during 2008 but was beaten in the 2009 race by Cameron Hoffman of Clearfield, Utah with a time of 9:02:52. This was Hoffman's third year in a row winning the Men's Pro Category 1,2,3 race. Hoffman, David Francis of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Robert Lofgran of Salt Lake City, Utah broke away from the Pro 1–2 field less than half way through the race and never looked back. They finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively with less than a second between Hoffman and Francis and Lofgran finishing about five seconds later.
2010 Edition of LOTOJA – Another new course record
2012 Edition of LOTOJA – Disaster Strikes
Rob Verhaaren crashed and died during the final stages of the race in Wyoming. http://www.cachevalleydaily.com/story/a-mesa-ariz-man-is-killed-in-lotoja-tragedy-20120909
2012 Edition of LOTOJA – Another New Course Record
A new LOTOJA corse record was set by Leon Bergant from Slovenija, with the time of 8:57:19 http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765604452/5-questions-with-LOTOJA-Classic-winner-Leon-Bergant.html?pg=all