By Mark Conti
Fifty-nine years after cyclist and speed skater Arthur Longsjo of Fitchburg competed in the summer and winter Olympics, another member of the family has picked up the torch and will race next weekend in the cycling event named in his honor.
Emilie Longsjo, the great-niece of Art Longsjo, will be competing in all three cities of the Longsjo Classic.
“She’s got the bike gene, and she’s excited about it,” said Jason Longsjo, the father of 6-year-old Emilie and the nephew of Art Longsjo. “That’s all she’s been talking about for the last couple of weeks,” Jason said.
Emilie will be participating in the kids' races of the Longsjo Classic in Leominster, Worcester and Fitchburg. Read more
A time-honored, classic American cycling event, the Longsjo is a community celebration of cycling, fitness, and health. Established in 1960 in memory of 2-time Olympian Art Longsjo, the event commemorates the life and achievements of a remarkable athlete and person who left his mark on the Fitchburg community and generations of cycling fans. More than 700 racers are expected to compete on the roads and streets that are icon of American cycling. Thousands of spectators and race fans are once again expected to line the courses and attend the race expo each day. Racers, families, and spectators will throng to the place where racers have gone on to Olympian, World Championship and Tour de France fame. Come join us!
Please note this site is continually being updated, so check back often!
P R E S E N T I N G S P O N S O R S
VISIT THE LONGSJO STORE FOR RACE MERCHANDISEpreview
Thank you course marshals, registration personnel, and all volunteers!
LONGSJO CLASSIC RACER TECHNICAL GUIDE
This guide contains general event and individual venue information, omnium specifics, race staff, contacts and more. The 2015 Edition of the Longsjo Classic Technical Guide can be downloaded using the link below.
By Mark Conti
By Rich Garven Telegram & Gazette Staff
Isaac Howe was raised in the southern part of New Hampshire, resides in the northern reaches of Vermont and has always enjoyed riding in Central Massachusetts.
When the 54th Longsjo Classic gets underway Friday with a twilight criterium in downtown Leominster, it will mark the eighth time in the past 10 years Howe has raced in this storied New England cycling event that honors the Olympic spirit of Fitchburg’s Arthur Longsjo.
“I’m not home often, and my family doesn’t get to see me race (live often), so it’s nice to be able to do the races that are close to home so they can come watch,” Howe, 29, said Monday after returning from Minneapolis, where he spent the previous five days competing in the six-stage North Star Grand Prix. “And I think the races, too, are exciting to me because I remember watching the pro races when I was a kid and wanting to do them. It sort of revitalizes my passion for cycling when I’m able to race close to home.”
Howe, who has six siblings and has been a professional cyclist since 2009, provided the Longsjo with enthusiasm and thrills galore last summer in its three criteriums.
In a span of about 45 hours, the standout sprinter for the Champion Systems-Stan’s NoTubes team finished fourth in Leominster in the men’s pro 1/2 division and then topped the podium in both Worcester and, in an especially meaningful moment, Fitchburg.
“I always wanted to win that criterium in downtown Fitchburg, and I had the opportunity to try it,” said Howe, who was 15 when he made his Longsjo debut. “It’s a classic race that has a lot of history to it, and a lot of really good cyclists have won at that venue.” Read more
By Nick Mallard
As dominant as Amy Cutler was as she raced to a win in last year's Longsjo Classic, don't expect a repeat victory.
Sure, Cutler took all three stages of the race in 2014, but winning back-to-back titles would be an even more impressive feat, especially given that Cutler won't be competing.
What a feat that would be. But barring some miracle, a new champion will be crowned in the Women's Pro division.
The New Jersey native is instead racing in Wisconsin this week for the Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing team, giving up the chance to win the 54th racing of the Longsjo Classic. And given the way she tore through the field last year, returning female riders are likely breathing a bit easier.
Cutler stormed past 2013 Longsjo Classic champion Ellen Noble and upstart junior racer Emma White to win last year.
This year's field could see Gabby Durrin -- a pro married to Fitchburg's own Jeremy Durrin, who is also competing -- among those contending for a title. Teams like Cawes p/b Specialized, Team Errace p/b DSO Manufacturing and Green Line Velo Driven by Zipcar are coming with numbers, giving them a strategic advantage.
The men's race, however, could see a repeat champion as Cole Archambault returns to the area after sneaking past Isaac Howe -- who won the inaugural Worcester twilight criterium stage, as well as the Fitchburg race -- for the pro title.
Calling it "the most prestigious bike race in New England," the Green Line Velo Driven By ZipCar racer brought home 56 points to edge Howe, who will return this weekend as well.