Fitchburg Longsjo Classic

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Fitchburg Longsjo Classic is an annual road bicycle racing stage race held in and around Fitchburg, Massachusetts, United States. The race started in 1960 as the Longsjo Memorial Race, in honor of Art Longsjo, and was renamed to its current title in 1980.

History[edit]

The race was founded in Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1960, making it the second oldest cycling race in the United States.[1][2][3] At the time, it was known as the Longsjo Memorial Race, in memory of long-time Fitchburg resident Art Longsjo, who competed in both the Winter Olympics as a speed skater and at the Summer Olympics as a cyclist. Guy Morin initially organized the event, with the help of Terry Longsjo, Art's wife, and officials in the local area. In 1980, the race was renamed by USA Cycling (then known as the United States Cycling Federation (USCF)).[4][5] In 2010, the race was changed from a four-day long event to only one day, due to financial difficulties.[6]

The 2011 race, scheduled for July 3, was cancelled due to a large structure fire.[4] The fire had occurred on June 13 at the Johnsonia Building; the race was not able to occur due to many of the streets that were in the race's pathway being closed. Due to these two events, as well as money issues, many of the race organizers were doubtful as to whether the race would be able to continue at all. "It’s still so painful. We had a perfect record for 51 years. Then there was a lot of sadness," Collier, the executive race director of the race at the time, had said.[6]

The race in 2012 was scheduled to include a criterium in Leominster, a circuit race beginning in Westminster, Massachusetts, and ending in Princeton, a hill climb to the top of Mount Wachusett, and the traditional downtown Fitchburg Criterium. However, the race was cancelled on June 11.[7] In 2013, the race became a two-day event, with the help of the recently created Arthur Longsjo Foundation. A Worcester stage was added to the event in 2014.[4] The 2018 race, still a two-day event, occurred on July 7 and July 8, and went through Leominster and Fitchburg. The 2018 event also had smaller races which only children could participate in for free.[2]

Past winners[edit]

Women[edit]

Men[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Malley, Kevin (July 5, 2008). "At the peak of his game". Telegram & Gazette. Paul Provost. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b Burke, Amanda (July 2, 2018). "Longsjo Classic a boon for Twin Cities residents, businesses". Sentinel & Enterprise. Mark O'Neil. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Longsjo Classic cycling race will return to Fitchburg this summer". The Lowell Sun. Mark O'Neil. December 23, 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Art Longsjo: The man who inspired the Longsjo Classic". Sentinel & Enterprise. Mark O'Neil. June 26, 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  5. ^ Nye, Peter Joffre. "FITCHBURG LONGSJO CLASSIC'S TRIBUTE TO WINTER AND SUMMER OLYMPIAN ART LONGSJO". USA Cycling. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b Conti, Mark (June 26, 2011). "Cycling: Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic may be difficult to save". Telegram & Gazette. Paul Provost. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  7. ^ Longsjo Classic official website