Bend has long been known as a cycling town because of it’s multitude of roads winding through the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and plethora of trails for mountain bikers to chose from. Although there are a number of cycling events and races in Bend each year, the showcase for Central Oregon’s love of cycling is the Cascade Cycling Classic.
This year the Cascade Cycling Classic, sponsored by Bend Memorial Clinic, will be held from July 17 – 22. In it’s 33rd year, this elite road bicycle stage race is the longest consecutively run race in the United States. As in past years, there will again be a prologue and five stages in 2012. Cycling News has done a great job of detailing each stage and the courses that will be ridden. For pure viewing enjoyment, the criteium in downtown Bend offers plenty of excitement.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because this race isn’t on par with the Tour de France that the quality of riders is lacking. Many riders will or have competed on the international cycling stage. Perhaps the best known American cyclist of all time, Lance Armstrong, won the Cascade cycling classic in 1998. Other notable winners include Levi Leipheimer (2008) and Oscar Sevilla (2009). Want more big names in cycling? How about Floyd Landis, Santiago Botero and Chris Horner?
Mark your calendar now for the Cascade Cycling Classic in Bend.