With a new race, new guidelines for the first winner, bigger crowds predicted and a bigger area for family fun, the 78thousand The Somerville Tour presented by Unity Bank is back with a bang on Memorial Day.
“This race has touched almost every life in Somerville,” said Gabe Lloyd, co-producer of the nation’s premier and oldest bike race. “It became an institution because of that. Everyone knows that bike racing is coming to town and there are a lot of enthusiasts who are making sure it continues.”
The family fun ride will begin at 8 a.m. Monday. You can register at district website.
Nine competitive amateur races start at 8:50 a.m. for registered riders of all ages and skill levels. This year saw the addition of an amateur women’s race, helping to make the women’s race the biggest in a decade, with total registrations 30% higher than last year.
“It’s exciting to see the resurgence of interest, and it’s a big challenge,” Lloyd said. “We just had to order more race numbers.”
Admission to the races and parking are free. Parking information can be found at tourofsomerville.com/schedule.
The first pro race, the women’s 25-mile event, starts at 2:15 p.m., with a purse of $10,000.
The men’s 50-mile, 43-lap, 1.1-mile, $10,000 purse race begins at 3:45 p.m.
Professional and elite cyclists from as far afield as Ireland, Mexico and Australia took part in the two featured races.
While the winners of the 2022 race will not return, 2019 winner Connor Sully of Connecticut and 2017 winner Noah Granigan of Colorado will compete again this year. Sally holds the record for fastest time at 1 hour 38 minutes. Granigan is the grandson of Joe Salling, who is the honorary starter of the professional men’s race.
The races won’t be the only events on the Tour of Somerville schedule. According to Lloyd, the tour will take further steps to recognize Memorial Day this year. The Immaculata High School trumpeter will play a rendition of Taps, the sound bugle that signals “lights out” at the end of the military day, and “Amazing Grace” and the National Anthem will be sung before the start of the men’s tournament. a professional race.
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The No. 1 and No. 4 spots will remain unfilled in the men’s pro race in honor of Furman Kugler, son of Tour founder Fred Kugler, winner of the first Somerville Tour in 1940 and second in 1941, and Carl Anderson, friend of the Kuglers, who won the Tour in 1942.
The Memorial Day race date took a tragic turn when Coogler and Anderson were killed during World War II while serving in the Armed Forces overseas.
While the bike races run from 1 to 5 p.m., vendors, bounce houses, children’s activities and hot dog and chicken wing eating contests will run along West Main Street between North Bridge and Grove Streets. Nine hundred people are expected to take part in the tour, which is 200 more than originally predicted.
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“Community support makes this event really special,” said Lloyd, who is co-founder and creative director of Long Tail Creative, which is hosting and managing the Tour of Somerville for the second time this year.
“The restaurants have counter tops and sidewalk grills and are ready and willing to welcome people to Somerville,” Lloyd continued. “A dozen barbecues also take place, and this positivity radiates from the participants. They want to come back to Somerville because of the experience.”
Jenna Intersimon has been a contributor to the USA TODAY NETWORK in New Jersey since 2014 after becoming a blogger-turned-reporter after starting her award-winning travel blog. To get unlimited access to her stories about food, drink and entertainmentplease sign up or activate your digital account today.