Somerset County News

Tour of Somerville Cycling Series Expands Racing into Raritan, Bound Brook

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SOMERVILLE, NJ - Competitive cyclists from throughout the world will again converge in central New Jersey Memorial Day weekend to compete in the 74th edition of one of America’s classic cycling events, the annual Tour of Somerville on Monday, May 29.

Re-branded as The Tour of Somerville Cycling Series, sponsors have extended racing over the course of three days, with racing events in Bound Brook on Saturday, May 27 and Raritan on Sunday, May 28.

The Tour of Somerville Cycling Series is promoted by Arts on Division, a Somerset County-based non-profit organizaton that encourages and supports all aspects of culture and the arts. Arts on Division donates a portion of the Tour proceeds to local nonprofit organizations.

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Additionally, the Tour has secured Michael Malekoff as race director. He returns to Somerville as a long-time resident, former standout cyclist and, most important, a promoter of major national and international cycling events including state, national and international events like the U.S. national cycling championships, U.S. Olympic trials, the 1984 Olympic track championships and the 1986 World Cycling Championships.

The Tour of Somerville attracts thousands of spectators from the tri-state area each year and more than 600 competitive cyclists from around the world in various categories from Juniors, Masters, Women, Senior Men and Pro Men.

The featured event is the historic Kugler-Anderson Memorial 50-mile criterium, the nation’s oldest, major bicycle race. Named after two cyclists who won the first and second races in 1940 and 1941, they both gave their lives in World War II. To honor their memory and sacrifice, the race was named after them when it resumed in 1947.

More than a sporting event, the “Tour” has been described by Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and other media as a combined street fair, music festival, community expo and neighborhood lawn party all wrapped around the fast-paced, multi-lap competition through the streets of Somerville’s historic downtown.

Past competitors have included the likes of Tour de France winner Greg LeMond and Olympic gold medal speed skater turned cyclist Eric Heiden, as well as scores of national and world cycling champions; all have applauded the size and enthusiasm of the crowds lining the race’s course and the sense of community and history that defines Somerville.

For the second consecutive year, both men’s and women’s race participants will be competing for equal prize lists, the first national bicycle race to make parity a priority. In addition, a new “Kid’s Race” will be added where youngsters can compete for bragging rights and ribbons.

For more information about the Tour of Somerville Cycling Series, day-of activities, sponsorship or registration information; visit the website at www.tourofsomerville.org or send an email to: info@tourofsomerville.org.

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