The second oldest continuously running bicycle race in the country is changing dates once again, but what the new date will be is still to be determined.
The Nevada City Classic, which traditionally runs in June and is part of the Nevada County Cycling Festival, was first postponed in April due to COVID-19, moving to Sept. 6, Labor Day weekend. Due to several factors, the race is being postponed again.
“It was a lot of things,” said Race Director Duane Strawser. “First of all, we got told by USA Cycling that Labor Day would still not be far enough out.”
Strawser also noted there was some concern from the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce in regards to the race possibly conflicting with what could be a big weekend for businesses in downtown Nevada City, where the race takes place.
“I really want to respect the worry of the chamber and the merchants,” said Strawser. “Having a holiday weekend open — if things are open by then — they want the streets open for shopping, I get that. That’s primary.”
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Strawser also said he didn’t want to be responsible for making Nevada City appear non-compliant with state orders.
“It’s about doing the right thing as per the state,” said Strawser, who is also a member of the Nevada City Council. “They may say ‘no big events period.’ They may mandate that, and the city and county would pretty much have to follow that. They got us leveraged down there. If we do something really against the governor’s orders, there’s always that veiled threat of long-term money leaving, grant money, you name it. … The state will be as big of a call maker for us as anybody, because we are listed as a big event.”
Other issues the event faces is uncertainty with sponsors and their ability to contribute as they have in the past, and a volunteer force that has a lot of people 60 and older.
Several other related events that were scheduled along with the Classic as part of the Nevada County Cycling Festival have also been postponed or cancelled.
The Classic has annually traversed the streets of downtown Nevada City since 1961 and over the years has featured elite local cyclists as well as world-class competitors like Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong.
To learn more about the Nevada City Classic visit http://www.nevadacityclassic.com. For more information and updates on the Nevada County Cycling Festival events visit http://www.nevadacitychamber.com.
To contact staff writer Walter Ford, email [email protected] or call 530-477-4232.