Tucson Bicycle Classic returns after two year hiatus

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Day one of the 34th Tucson Bicycle Classic is wrapping up and racers are getting ready for the rest of the race this weekend.

The race is back after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic and the previous race director retiring.

The theme of this year’s race is a firebird which symbolizes the Tucson Bicycle Classic coming back after it closed down in 2019.

Cyclists from all across the country are here in Tucson this weekend for the race. It’s one they’ve been waiting for after TBC’s race director of more than 30 years retired.

“We’re making our own tradition now, we’ve started from scratch,” Colbert said

The three-day race kicked off today with a time trial, a foundation for the rest of the race.

“It sort of establishes who the leaders will be tomorrow. Tomorrow we have a road race in Sahuarita going around the mines in Sahuarita, that’s a 20 mile loop,” he explained.

On Sunday this year’s TBC will conclude with a circuit race on Tucson’s west side.

With more than 500 racers in attendance, Colbert says this weekend’s turnout is better than he expected.

“Men, women, girls, boys, age groups up over 75 years old, and up. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had an 80-year-old here and there,” he said

He says all of them are competitive athletes. Friday, they were competing against time and up to 50 mile-per -our winds.

“So far off to a good start, a little bit windy as you can tell out here. I think all the riders would agree to that, but other than that everything is going great so far,” Tucson native, Conor Johnson says.

It’s his first time taking part in TBC. He’ll be joined by countless others across the states choosing to come to Tucson, specifically for the race.

Patrick Caro from L.A. has been racing for 20 years and he says the TBC is just different.

He says, “This race has been around for years. From the road race to the circuit race, it’s really challenging. It’s not your typical four corners criteria that we get in Southern California. They do a good job here.”

Colbert expects the this year’s Tucson Bicycle Classic will give Tucson a strong, economic boost that it’s been missing for the last two years.

He is also already working on some new additions for next year’s race, including a fourth race day.

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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