Carmel, N.Y. – The Putnam Cycling Classic on May 5 will be a stop on the UCI World Cycling Tour, Putnam County Director of Tourism Libby Pataki announced Tuesday.
The event will start and finish in scenic Cold Spring, N.Y., and serve as the unique American qualifying event for the UCI Masters World Championships to be held in Trento, Italy, in September.
The UCI World Cycling Tour is a series of timed, gran fondo-style rides which are organized on five continents. The Putnam Cycling Classic features a scenic and challenging 79.6 mile (126.5 kilometer) qualifying course boasting 6,532 feet (1,991 meters) of climbing.
“After a superb test event held last October, we were convinced that the next logical step was to expose the natural beauty of Putnam County to an international audience,” Pataki said.
Like a marathon, gran fondos are mass participation cycling events similar in scope and participation to running marathons. They appeal to athletes of varied abilities and ages.
In addition to the 79.6 mile ride, there is a second, non-qualifier ride of 37 miles that includes 2,890 feet (880 meters) of climbing. Both rides will be fully serviced with technical support, feed zones, broom wagons and chip timing. Tickets for the inaugural “Putnam Classic Express” are available, along with event registration, on BikeReg.com.
“These types of events are ones that bring together the entire spectrum of the enthusiast cycling community and represent the future of the sport,” Putnam Cycling Classic Event Director John Eustice said. “Whether you are young or old, a veteran or a newbies, everyone can enjoy the benefits of what is essentially a long and beautiful bicycle park in Putnam County.”
The Putnam Cycling Classic has also developed a special feature with event partner Metro-North. The “Putnam Classic Express” leaves Grand Central Terminal and, after a one-hour ride, drops participants off on the start line in Cold Spring.
“This feature will really appeal to the international visitors coming to our event,” Pataki said. “They will be able to combine the excitement and attraction of a New York City stay with the clean air and beauty of Putnam County. It represents the very best of both worlds.”
For more information about this event, visit: www.putnamcycling.com