Truckee Dirt Fondo set for inaugural race

Roughly 600 cyclists pedaled out of Riverview Sports Complex for the start of the Sagan Fondo. Due to cyclist Peter Sagan's absence this year, the event has been renamed the Truckee Dirt Fondo.

Truckee and its surrounding trails will transform into a cycling Mecca this June as hundreds of riders come to town to compete in the inaugural Truckee Dirt Fondo.

The three-day event was previously known as the Sagan Fondo Truckee Dirt Edition, according to race organizers Bike Monkey, but was renamed this year due to the absence of pro cyclist Peter Sagan.

“The Town of Truckee is very excited to host a second year, under the new event name Truckee Dirt Fondo, produced by Bike Monkey,” Truckee Mayor David Tirman said in a statement. “As a rider in the event myself, I could not be more proud of showcasing Truckee’s world class trails to those who are also passionate about off road adventures in our beautiful alpine environment.”

The three-day event will begin on Thursday, June 6, with a fundraising gala.

Leipheimer: Giving back

King Ridge Foundation, founded by former professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer, in partnership with Bike Monkey will produce the gala, which will raise funds for Adventure Risk Challenge, a nonprofit that serves at-risk youth.

“Through chance circumstances I moved to Truckee after losing my home in Santa Rosa and quickly connected deeply with its community and abounding wilderness,” said Leipheimer in a statement. “It’s fitting for me to bring the work we do at King Ridge Foundation to the region by supporting Adventure Risk Challenge. Truckee has become my second home and I’m committed to giving back to its community.”

King Ridge Foundation a nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, and has been working to help at-risk youth since 2009. Last year’s gala, according to race organizers, raised more than $97,000 for Adventure Risk Challenge, King Ridge, Foundation, and The Specialized Foundation.

The following morning, Leipheimer will lead a course preview ride. From there, riders and attendees can take advantage of a public expo, food, beer, and sponsor booths at Truckee Tahoe Airport — Hangar N-01.

Getting in gear

On Saturday morning, riders take off from Truckee Tahoe Airport, competing in three different distances. This year’s route will take riders up to 8,006 feet as the make their way over Sardine Peak inside Tahoe National Forest. The course is best suited for mixed-terrain, cyclocross, or mountain bikes, according to organizers, and each participant is encouraged to select a bike that best suits their style of riding, but the courses will all favor the cyclocross format.

The routes range in distances of 26 miles, 58 miles, and 67 miles, and will take riders from the airport past Prosser Creek Reservoir and Boca Reservoir. The two longest routes take competitors past Stampede Reservoir to Sardine Peak before heading back to the finish area at the airport.

A family fun ride, hosted by Buddy Pegs, will take place at 9 a.m. Buddy Pegs, a children’s media company dedicated to inspiring happier, healthier families through cycling, will also run a bike play date for children for children between ages 2 and 5 on Friday from 2 to 3 p.m. Registration for the e vent is $25 per child. During Friday and Saturday’s festivities Buddy Pegs will also have a free bicycle playground and number plate decorating for children ages 7 and under.

Festival follows

Beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, live music will be performed by The Sam Chase & The Untraditional, which will then be followed by an awards ceremony.

The festival closes at 5 p.m., but the party continues at FiftyFifty Brewing Co. with closing words from Leipheimer and the release of the brewery’s Après Sunshine.

Registration for the fondo is still open and can be done at Currently the price for the medium and long routes is $135 and the short non-competitive route is $40.

“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 Event Director Carlos Perez in a statement.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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