Cycling Classic peddles for help

May 18

In only its third year in existence, the Mt. Hood cycling Classic, scheduled for June 2-5, has been boosted onto the prestigious National Racing Calendar (NRC).

The event is one of only 15 NRC stage races in the U.S. and is expected to bring in over 400 road bicycling racers from across the country and beyond to the Hood River Valley.

Hood River is by far the smallest city to host a race of such caliber this year. Event organizer Chad Sperry commented on Hood River's unique status for the NRC:

"We are the smallest host city on the NRC by a long ways but the residents and business people of Hood River have been incredibly supportive of the whole event.

It allows us to offer something unique to the racing circuit as far as a venue and we now have big time racing with small town charm and appeal."

The five-stage, 200-plus mile race encompasses riding from Panorama Point to Wahtum Lake, and everywhere between, with $20,000 in cash prizes.

Sure to please the crowds this year will be the Downtown Criterion Stage where racers will weave and veer their bikes around the steep hills and sharp corners of lower downtown Hood River.

Putting on a national caliber venue in Hood River has brought together dozens of local sponsors and volunteers. Organization, set-up, and take-down for the event takes a lot of coordination and effort.

Volunteers are being sought for jobs ranging from course attendants and medics to set-up, tear-down, and station manning.

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Anyone interested in helping support the now prestigious 2005 Mt. Hood Cycling Class is encouraged to contact Julie Wilson at Discovery Bicycles: 386-4820.

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