“Labor Day LIVE!” Races Promise Successby Sam Schad 2WheelSports
2WheelSports (www.2wheelsports.com) will be hosting the upcoming Labor Day Races entitled “Labor Day LIVE!,” and we’re thrilled to be doing so. The races are scheduled for September 3-4.
What we are trying to accomplish has been done before in the Louisville area. We’re not reinventing the wheel. But given the current climate in Louisville (no, not the one producing 110-degree temps and 100% humidity!), we couldn’t think of a better time for the event.
I may be showing my “youth,” but my racing experience and knowledge of Kentuckiana cycling history really only extends back to the Seventies. And it only goes back that far because of secondhand stories. It is from reports given to me by the grandfathers of local racing (Hewitt, Peters, Swope, Stephenson, Lay) that I hear of fantastic events with incredibly large citizen-classes. Races where there would be multiple heats of a criterium because the fields were packed. Two, three hundred cyclists at one time, wanting to ride in the beginner class. This is to say nothing of all the other fields: the Masters, the Elite riders. Sounds like there were a ton of those as well.
Now, I grew up on a farm in Southern Indiana, and can usually spot a tall tale when I hear it. And all the big fish I ever caught got thrown back without the obligatory story. So I take these tales with a grain of salt. Not having been there, I can only sigh in wonderment and accept the musings of my elders. But I can speak to the success of the BikeFest series of races that took place in Cherokee Park in the early Nineties. Having competed in them, I can attest to the large fields attracted by a $10K purse. These were well run events that made their mark on the area, and I for one will never forget them. And, of course, there were the Masters’ Natz in 2003. A wonderful event that was destined to be a short run, but nonetheless impressive in its size. This was the event to show how Kentuckiana could come together as a cycling community.
But now we feel that we finally have an event that can “stick.” Like the great tours of our area, the Labor Day LIVE! races have a chance at longevity. It is, after all, 2Wheelsports’ job to put on races. It’s our passion. So we aim to make the Labor Day weekend the best two days of racing you’ll ever see in Louisville. We’ve got racing mainly for Masters, an incredible sponsor in Papa John’s Pizza, and the help of Louisville Sports Commission.
The weekend will feature two events: a road race in beautiful Elizabeth, Ind., on Saturday, September 3rd. Then on Sunday, September 4th, we will feature a short criterium course in downtown Louisville. As of this writing, we are working on two possible venues: 4th Street Live! and the Riverfront.
Much like the races of the early Nineties, we’re offering a purse of $10k for two days of racing, and we’re marketing the event at a national level. Take a moment to check out the event Web site for details at www.labordaylive.com. We’re in this for the long haul, and want to see this event grow and prosper, becoming one of the cycling events that is ours, Kentuckiana’s. But we need your help to do it. So come on down this September, grab a lawn chair, a cowbell, a couple of friends from next door, and a set of loud lungs. Let’s show these folks what Southern hospitality sounds like!
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web posted: 15 September 2005
last updated: 16 September 2005