Starting out as a one-day race dedicated to the memory of Art Longsjo, over a half-century ago, the Longsjo Classic will return to its roots and again become a one-day race for the 52nd edition.
“While we are reducing the number of days of racing, it will allow us to pack the energy, excitement, and amazing history of the race into one day of amazing competition for the riders and fans.” said the race’s Executive Director, Ed Collier.
According to Collier, the logistics and required manpower and resources are quickly diluted when stretched over four days. For three decades, the race had been a one-day criterium. A time trial, circuit and road race were added in the 1990s.
The race will still include eight different categories, including Women’s Pro/1 and Men’s Pro/1. Race organizers have submitted an application to be included on the 2011National Race Calendar (NRC). “Based on our history and the quality of the race, we anticipate we will be included on the calendar,” said Collier.
The race was organized in 1960, as a one-day criterium in memory of Arthur M. Longsjo Jr., a Fitchburg native and the first US athlete to compete in the Winter and Summer Olympics in the same year (1956). Art’s accomplishments have been recognized by his posthumous induction into the Cycling Hall of Fame and Speed Skating Hall of Fame.
The July 3rd race will be a fast-paced, exciting criterium running right past the Longsjo Memorial, with multiple laps around a 0.9-mile loop through historic downtown Fitchburg.