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The Nevada City Classic - HerStory - by Erin Alders

Hi. I'm SBS Personality Erin Alders, and welcome to my blog column. Here, I focus on women's olympic sports, sports events, and what I do: cycling

The Nevada City Classic is a bike race that deserves attention. It was created in 1960 by Charlie Allert, a lithography print shop owner and bike enthusiast. Also a bike racer, he envisioned Nevada City to have the potential to be a great course and wonderful setting.

The first professional women's race began four years after the men's, and both pro and amateur cyclists continue to compete today, making the Nevada City Classic the 2nd oldest bike race in the country.

The 1.1 mile loop cuts through historic downtown Nevada City, climbing past homes dating back to the Victorian Era, and descending quickly by commercial buildings reminiscent of the Gold Rush.

The event takes place every Father's Day weekend, attracting large crowds, (once up to 30,000 people), the circuit of regional racers, as well as some of the top racers in the history of cycling.

Racers such as: Connie Carpenter, Liz Chapman, Karen Kurrek-Brems, Rebecca Twigg, Katrin Tobin-Paulin, and Inga Thompson. And for the men: Greg LeMond, Chris McGovern, Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, and Ben & Andy Jacques-Maynes.

Among the women mentioned above include: National Champions, World Champions, Olympians, and winners of the HP Women's Challenge.

The Nevada City Classic was considered the #1 women's race in the country. However, attendance and corporate sponsorship has suffered due to the HP Women's Challenge in Idaho, formerly the largest International women's stage race in the country. Sadly, Hewlett Packard announced in 2002 that it will not extend its title sponsorship of the Women's Challenge, and the event has been cancelled.

Perhaps, this setback will be an opportunity for another prestigious event to step up, and support women's cycling. Furthermore, maybe this will also be an opportunity for the Nevada City Classic to redeem its reputation in women's racing, and attract some of the Top Women in cycling once more.

Up until now, a local man or woman has never won the race. I hope to be the first woman to change the trend.

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