America’s longest, one-day sanctioned bicycle race from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY celebrates 30 years of giving cyclists a challenge ‘that transforms lives.’
Layton, Utah — The 30th Annual LoToJa Classic will start at dawn on Sept. 8, 2012 as over 1,000 bicyclists from across the U.S. and other nations depart from Sunrise Cyclery in Logan, UT and point their wheels north for a 206-mile odyssey to Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
The popular, one-day cycling road race again features grueling, yet scenic terrain across northeastern Utah, southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming—with the finish line just 10 miles away from the iconic Grand Teton. While en route, cyclists will climb three mountain passes that total nearly 10,000 vertical feet. Many compete to win their respective class or category, while others just ride to cross the finish line.
The current course record is 9:01:44 set in 2010 by Al Thresher of Las Vegas, NV. His average speed was nearly 23 mph. The current women’s course record of 9:44:57 is held by Jenn Halladay of Kuna, ID. She also set that record in 2010, and her average speed was approximately 21 mph.
“This year’s LoToJa promises to be remarkable,” said Race Director Brent Chambers of Epic Events, Layton, Utah. “The excitement for our 30th anniversary has everyone inspired, from cyclists to volunteers, to the numerous communities the race passes through. The 206-mile course is in great shape, and with all the energy that’s going around, it’s possible we’ll see a sub, nine-hour record this year.”
Chambers added that cyclists are coming from over 40 states, some as far away as Hawaii and Massachusetts. From outside the U.S., riders are coming from Australia, Singapore, Great Britain, and Belgium. “They come because they’ve heard of the race’s challenge, its breathtaking scenery, and how the experience of the day transforms lives,” he said. “Riding hard all day for 206 miles, and then crossing the finish line in sight of the Grand Teton, is an adventure few forget—and many want to experience again and again.”
The LoToJa began in 1983 by two Logan cyclists who wanted to create a bicycle race that resembled the difficulty of a one-day European classic like Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders or Liege-Bastogne-Liege. In that first year, seven cyclists competed and crossed the finish line in Jackson. Since then, LoToJa has grown into one of the nation’s premier amateur cycling races. It has also become a major fund-raiser for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Autism Spectrum Disorder Connections, and other medical research foundations. To date, sponsors and participants have raised over $800,000 for these causes. In addition, LoToJa sponsors local fund-raising groups that assist the event.
This year’s race will again feature 33 different categorized races, and a non-competitive, fun ride or Gran Fondo class. Most finishers are on their bike 10 to 12 hours—more than twice as long as a typical amateur bike race in the U.S. The LoToJa is the longest one-day bicycle race in America that is sanctioned by USA Cycling, the sport’s governing body. The age of cyclists range from 15 to 73 (13 to 82 in the relay category), and the average rider will burn up to 15,000 calories on race day—about a dozen large cheeseburgers with fries.
The LoToJa’s 206-mile course passes through three states, plus dozens of counties, cities and towns, such as Logan, UT, Preston, ID, Montpelier, ID, Afton, WY, Alpine, WY, and Jackson, WY.
“LoToJa wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation and assistance it receives from businesses, civic leaders, public safety officials and community volunteers,” said Chambers. This year’s race will have over 450 volunteers. Due to the mountainous and remote terrain, more than 150 volunteer ham radio operators from the Bridgerland Amateur Radio Club provide race communication.
The LoToJa’s top goal is to provide a safe and competitive race for all participants, support crews and volunteers, added Chambers. All motorists traveling LoToJa’s route on Sept. 8 are asked to use caution when approaching cyclists. Groups consisting of up to dozens of riders may be encountered. Motorists are asked to pass carefully and to leave a safe distance between their vehicle, cyclists and other traffic.
The cyclists who compete in the event, plus their support crews, well-wishers, event staff and volunteers, result in an entourage of approximately 4,500 people. Several of the communities through which LoToJa passes organize roadside fund-raisers to capitalize on the influx of visitors. The host cities of Logan and Jackson also enjoy a welcomed economic boost from the race, specifically restaurants and motels.
The route and additional information about the race are available at www.lotojaclassic.com.