Arena cycling event scheduled for Husker bye weekend

2013-08-01T03:50:00Z 2014-03-20T20:06:24Z Arena cycling event scheduled for Husker bye weekendBy ZACH PLUHACEK / Lincoln Journal Star

First basketball, then Bublé — now, bicyclists will come to Pinnacle Bank Arena.

This fall, the West Haymarket will host the two-day Lincoln Industries Cycling Classic, an event that will feature a bicycle tour of the Lincoln area, children's activities, food and the Capital City Criterium — an annual speed race that once orbited the Capitol each May but now will circle outside the arena.

The festival falls on a bye week for the Nebraska football team: Sept. 28-29.

Most activities will take place on the event's first day, Saturday. That includes the cycling tour, or Gran Fondo.

The Gran Fondo will start and finish at the arena and include 10-, 50- and 100-mile routes in and around Lincoln. The 10-mile route mostly will stick to city trails; the longer rides will take cyclists through rural Lancaster County.

Day one also will include children's activities such as bike decorating and helmet fitting, plus M.A.D. DADS will accept donated bicycles to give to children.

Other activities include food stands, vendors, a beer garden and a stunt cyclist  

The event's second day will be dominated by the Criterium, a race that draws more than 100 pro and semi-pro riders from across the Midwest.

The idea for the Cycling Classic came from the members of a Lincoln-based professional bike racing team sponsored by Lincoln Industries, a company spokeswoman said.

"Lincoln Industries is a huge supporter of wellness events," said communications manager Kylie Ensrund.

Lincoln Industries CEO Marc LeBaron also helped rally support for the arena. 

Plans for the Cycling Classic still are being finalized, Ensrund said, but riders interested in taking part in the Gran Fondo can register now at Organizers hope to have about 500 people participate.

The website also includes more details on the tour routes and festival activities.

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