Truckee Dirt Fondo returns for third year

FILE — Local athlete Katerina Nash celebrates winning the 2019 Truckee Dirt Fondo.
Justin Scacco /

The Truckee Dirt Fondo will return to the area for a third year, bringing a collection of amateur and world-class cyclists to the area’s trails for a day of racing and family fun.

VISIT TRUCKEE, in partnership with Bike Monkey, announced Tuesday the fondo will return to the area on June 13, and will offer riders a choice of three routes, which follow trails over Sardine Peak and through the Tahoe National Forest.

“In 2019, Bike Monkey defined a winning formula, and one that is here to stay. The gravel canvas we’re working with here in Truckee is enormous,” said David Tirman, mayor of the Town of Truckee, in a news release. “And with world-class athletes such as Levi Leipheimer making Truckee his hometown, we are proud to offer an authentic mountain town experience for visitors and locals alike.”

The event, which was previously known as the Sagan Fondo Truckee Dirt Edition but was renamed this year due to the absence of pro cyclist Peter Sagan, will feature routes consisting of 26.37 miles, 58.15 miles, and 65.12 miles. The fondo also supports local at-risk youth through the work of Adventure Risk Challenge.

E-bikes enter the fray

New this year at the fondo will be an e-bike category. The format will include optional battery drop points and a battery pit time penalty system to integrate strategic elements into the race.

Starting in 2020, most Bike Monkey events, according to the organizers, will begin featuring special categories and considerations for e-bikes. In some cases, the actual race route will be modified for those racing e-bikes.

Families ride free

In an effort to get more youngsters and families out riding, Bike Monkey is opening up its Rollout route to anyone free of charge. The Rollout route, which started with Levi’s GranFondo, allows entrants to ride 15 or 26 miles depending on their preference.

“My goal from day (one) with Levi’s GranFondo was to create a safe and inclusive experience for anyone to join me on a bike ride, and I mean anyone,” said former pro cyclist Levi Leipheimer in a news release. “If this is your first ever cycling event, all the better. Together with Bike Monkey and the Town of Truckee, we have created the Rollout for all ages and all abilities. Come join me on June 13 in beautiful Truckee, CA and experience everything that the Tahoe area has to offer. I spent a lot of time here the last couple of years and it’s an amazing place to ride a bike.”

Immediately following the start of the main race, there will be a fun, non-competitive, fully supported children’s ride along the Legacy trail system and through the Truckee Bike Park.

Race day will also include a post-race festival, featuring family-friendly activities, food trucks, live music and beer provided by FiftyFifty Brewing Company.

Free exhibitor space

In an effort to support the gravel cycling community and create a stronger festival environment, VISIT TRUCKEE and Bike Monkey are offering free exhibitor space for a limited time. Apply online at, or for more details contact

“The Truckee Dirt Fondo is going to be recognized as a staple that pins Truckee to the consciousness of anyone who owns a gravel bike,” said Carlos Perez, event director, in a news release.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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