Tour de Nez bringing more bike racing to Tahoe | SierraSun.com

Tour de Nez bringing more bike racing to Tahoe

Greyson HowardSierra Sun

Ryan Salm/Sierra Sun file photo

This years Tour de Nez bicycle race, which began in Reno 16 years ago, will be back this June with more events and a greater focus on the Truckee-Tahoe area.After scaling back last year to just two days, one in Reno and one in Truckee, a new partnership with Northstar-at-Tahoe has expanded the race to a six-day event.This is going to be the biggest, coolest Tour de Nez ever, said race founder Tim Healion. This new partnership will work well for both of us Northstar will get the exposure of a national racing event, and for us its great to have the venue.Northstar will also bring significant financial backing, Healion said.Two years ago, Healion ran into problems with the Reno-Sparks Convention andamp; Visitors Authority. The RSCVA gave the race $20,000 with the understanding it would air on the Outdoor Life Network on cable television, but it did not. Healion had to repay 75 percent of the money to the RSCVA.The new partnership means less time in Reno this year, but Healion said he feels there is more potential in the Truckee-Tahoe area.The Truckee event has grown in terms of spectators, significantly more than Reno, Healion said. But as the race moves towards the Truckee-Tahoe area, he said he has no plans to abandon Reno.The roots are here in Reno, so well be absolutely including some of it in Reno, Healion said.Northstar, meanwhile, is trying to expand its year-round destination image, Healion said, which fits perfectly with the races approach that includes not only professional racing, but amateur events and festivities. The Associated Press contributed to this report

The Tour de Nez is only part of the growth cycling is undergoing in the U.S., said Tim Healion, Tour de Nez founder. The Tour of California starts this weekend and is a large part of that popularity.Apparently the Tour of California is now the fourth biggest race in the world, Healion said. Its a great driver, a great facilitator, and a important piece of the puzzle.Last years Tour de Nez winner Alex Candelario will be in this years Tour of California, as well as this years Tour de Nez, Healion said.The Tour de Nez will also be drawing international teams from Ireland, Australia and other parts of the world, he said.In Europe there is a dark cloud over cycling, Healion said. Where as in the U.S. its on fire. Its an exciting time to be a part of cycling in the U.S.

June 18: Downtown Reno Pro CriteriumJune 19: 1 mile uphill time trial at Northstar, open to pros and amateursDowntown Truckee Pro CriteriumJune 20: Truckee-Tahoe Pro Road Race,June 21: Northstar Circuit Race, pros, masters, and women