Pro cyclist Peter Stetina brings new event to Lake Tahoe
Professional road cyclist Peter Stetina has enjoyed racing and training in Lake Tahoe for years, and now he’ll add his own flair to the area, bringing a new and different style of a road cycling race to the lake this weekend with the first annual Stetina’s Sierra Prospect on Sunday, Sept. 24.
The race will be divided into distances of 50 miles and 98 miles, and instead of riders being timed across the entire distance, Stetina’s Sierra Prospect will be scored under a “Road Rally” format where the course is broken down into five timed segments. Outside of those segments, the race will take on a more social ride with no penalty for stopping to take in the views, snap photos, or for taking a break at one of the route’s aid stations.
Bike Monkey, an events management and services company, devised the scoring system and has teamed up with Stetina to put on the event.
“I want an event in Lake Tahoe to be what it deserves: quality, epic, fun, inspirational, and a true celebration of all the components both on and off the bike that make cycling great,” said Stetina in an email to the Sun. “I also don’t want to stamp my name on the front of anything that isn’t perfect; if I’m going to create a namesake event, possibly my legacy in cycling, it has to be done right in every aspect.”
Stetina is an accomplished road cyclist, who recently added the completion of all three of the Grand Tour races to his resume, when he finished 31st at the Vuelta a Espana in August. The Grand Tour is Europe’s three major cycling events, and includes the Vuelta a Espana, the Tour de France, and the Giro d’Italia.
Stetina completed the other two races in previous years, and has finished the Tour de France twice and the Giro d’Italia four times.
The 98-mile distance of Stetina’s Sierra Prospect will take cyclists on a grueling course from Northstar California Resort to Lake Tahoe via Highway 267, to Highway 28, and then to Highway 50 for a descent into Carson. From there cyclists will make their way north to Reno before taking on the 16.5-mile climb up Mount Rose Highway. The riders will then head back north along Highway 267 to the finish line at Northstar.
The five timed segments of the course will be divided into flat and climbing portions near Brockway Summit, Sand Harbor, Carson City, Mount Rose, and back at Brockway Summit for the final segment.
The weekend-long festivities will begin at Revision Brewing Company in Sparks, Nev., on Friday, Sept. 22, for a launch party of a custom beer created for the race by the brewery’s Head Brewmaster Jeremy Warren.
“I sat down with Revision and we talked about the beers I like and what would suit the cyclists at this event,” Stetina said.
During the launch party, a portion of each beer sold will go toward the High Fives Foundation, which helps support the recovery of injured mountain action sports athletes through grant funding.
A dollar from each Sierra Prospect beer sold at the brewery or in stores afterward will go toward High Fives as well.
A shuttle will leave Northstar resort at 5:30 p.m. to take passengers to Sparks for the beer release from 6 – 9 p.m. Tickets for the shuttle cots $25.
The following day there will be a charity ride from Northstar into Truckee at 10 a.m., followed by yoga at 3 p.m. The day will conclude at Northstar’s Overlook Pavilion with a 6 p.m. fundraiser dinner for The High Fives Foundation. Tickets for the dinner are $145 per plate, which includes cocktails and a three-course meal provided by Northstar’s chefs.
Stetina’s Sierra Prospect will then get underway on Sunday at 8 a.m., with a mass start from Northstar.
Originally Stetina said he envisioned the race as a one-day event, but as he continued to organize the first Sierra Prospect, the race turned into a weekend-long celebration of cycling.
“It was a natural progression, and it’s the best way to show off Tahoe in the fall,” he said.
“There’s also a lot of people from the Bay Area, who wanted to get one last weekend in the mountains. We said we’re not just selling a race, ‘We’re selling a weekend in Tahoe.’”
For Stetina, the process has been a juggling act as he’s balanced a rigorous training schedule and racing, with putting on the inaugural event.
“It’s been an eye opener to balance it with trying to focus on my professional racing career,” he said. “There’s a lot of work, but it’s exciting. You’re fueling excitement and other people’s excitement in something you are trying to create. It’s hectic, but it’s a good hectic.”
Traffic may be affected along the route during the race, according to Stetina, with a partial closure at the intersection of Highway 267 and Highway 28 from 8:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
Motorists should also be aware of the 8 a.m. mass start from Northstar Drive onto Highway 267. Some detours and/or traffic holds may also occur along Highway 267 during the early parts of the race from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. For more information on traffic delays, and to register, visit the event’s website at SierraProspect.com.
Registration for the race will be open until the race’s start on Sunday morning, according to Stetina. The Sierra Prospect is also looking for more volunteers. To volunteer for the race visit bikemonkey.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=23272.