Organisers of the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend, Oregon, announced this week that the race will be back in 2019 after a one-year hiatus. The race will move from its previous spot in July to a new start date at the end of May.
Former pro Bart Bowen, who runs a sports performance studio in Bend, took over as organiser of the 39-year-old race when the previous owners pulled out after 2017. Bowen had hoped to put on a race this year, but time constraints and a late start forced him to postpone the 2018 event. Now Bowen and the ‘Cascade Cycling Youth Foundation,’ the non-profit group he formed to manage the race, have it back on the 2019 schedule from May 29 through June 2.
The Cascade Cycling Classic is the longest-running professional stage race in the US through 2017 when it was a UCI race for both the men and women. A staple of the US domestic circuit for nearly four decades, past winners of the race include Todd Gogulski, Alexi Grewal, Dale Stetina, Bowen, Jonathan Vaughters, Lance Armstrong, Tom Danielson and Levi Leipheimer, among many others. Two-Time Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong won the women’s race twice.
In an email to Cyclingnews, Bowen said the race would be sanctioned by USA Cycling rather than by the independent Oregon Bicycle Racing Association. However, the 2019 race will not be a part of USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour [formerly the National Racing Calendar], and it will not be sanctioned by the UCI.
Bowen and his group are putting an emphasis on providing a proving ground for up-and-coming riders while putting on a race that engages the local community. Unlike its last running in 2017 as a UCI race, the Cascade Cycling Classic will once again field a full range of categories to embrace racing at all ages and ability levels, the organisers said in their announcement.
“Our primary goals as promoter this year are to see that the event becomes an avenue for new and young cyclists to become more engaged in the sport, but also to really engage the community at large more fully in the racing — even those who may know nothing at all about bike racing,” Bowen said in a press release. “Everyone gets excited about fast, head-to-head racing. We want to showcase this action in a way that benefits the community on the whole.”
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com