Tour of Somerville 2018: More festivities, activities in 75th year, starting Thursday
May 24, 2018
SOMERVILLE – The Tour of Somerville bike race is expanding to include more festivities and activities in its 75th year.
The races will begin on Thursday and last until Memorial Day. More than 1,000 amateur and professional cyclists will be attending and the event is expected to draw up to 20,000 spectators to the borough.
“We’re trying to make this more community friendly to get people to come out and not just watch the races,” said Michael Malekoff, executive director for the Tour of Somerville. “Restaurants are going to have outdoor cafes and it’s really going to be a festive atmosphere.”
He said the event this year will feature face painting for children, free bicycle and helmet inspections, sports demonstrations in front of the Historic Courthouse and bands playing on Division Street.
Malekoff grew up in Somerville and watched the races as a child before he went on to become a competitive cyclist on a national level.
“We’ve added a more of a festival atmosphere for people,” he said.
He thanked the bike race’s new sponsor, Unity Bank, for its help in expanding the activities.
Last year, Unity Bank agreed to a multiyear partnership as the title sponsor of the race, which attracts thousands of spectators and the best bicyclists in the world.
“We are truly excited to be a part of the Tour of Somerville because it is a special event for both cycling fans and the community that is an important tribute to our nation’s veterans as well,” Unity Bank President and CEO James A. Hughes said last year.
Malekoff isn’t the only competitive cyclist raised in Somerville now assisting with the premier bike race.
Joe Saling, a former competitive cyclist who was recently inducted into the U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame, will be announcing the event, as he has done in the past.
Saling was the owner of a bicycle shop located in Somerville that he had bought from Fred “Pop” Krugler, who founded the Tour of Somerville.
Pop’s son, Furman Kugler, won the first Tour of Somerville in 1940. The race was suspended for several years during World War II, which took the life of Furman.
This year’s event will also include sprint cycling, and national competitors James Mellen and Ava Burke are set to compete.
For more information and a full schedule, visit www.tourofsomerville.org.
The full schedule of the five-day event is as follows:
Thursday, May 24
Legal Runaround 5K, Veterans Memorial Plaza, 20 Grove St., Somerville, Includes: 6:15 p.m. Kids’ Dashes (2-12); 6:25 p.m. 3K Poker Walk; 7 p.m. 5K Road Race; 7:45 p.m. award ceremony
Friday, May 25
Cruise Nights Car Show, Main Sreet., Somerville. Classic car lineup starts at 6 p.m. and continues Fridays through Labor Day.
Saturday, May 26
Bound Brook Criterium, Main and Hamilton streets, Bound Brook. Includes: 9 a.m. masters’ 55+ (First Race); 9:45 a.m. men’s; 10:20 a.m. masters’ 45+; 11:10 a.m. juniors’ 15-18; 11:55 a.m. women’s; 12:30 p.m. categories; 1:40 p.m. women’s; 2:40 p.m. men’s pro
Sunday, May 27
Sprint Races, Division and Main Streets, Somerville. Event starts at 4:30 p.m. with entertainment beginning at 5:30 p.m. Racing warm-up is at 6 p.m. with youth sprints fir elementary, middle and high school, women’s pro sprint races, and men’s pro sprint races. Awards awards and post-race entertainment start at 8 p.m.
Monday, May 28
Tour of Somerville, Davenport and Main Street, Somerville.
Main Street Schedule: 8:30 a.m. race and parade course closure; 8:45 a.m. Somerville Memorial Day Parade; 9:30 a.m. family fun ride sponsored by Somerville Recreation; 10:28 a.m. National Anthem
Race Schedule: 10:30 a.m. masters’ 55+ (First Race); 10:55 a.m. men’s race; 11:30 a.m. masters’ race sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset; 12:20 p.m. Harry Naismith Juniors’ Race; 12:21 p.m. women’s Race; 1:10 p.m.; Bell/Chiselko Men’s Categories 2/3 Race sponsored by FERASCO; 2:15 p.m. Mildred Kugler Women’s Pro sponsored by Unity Bank; 3:20 p.m. Kugler-Anderson Memorial Pro Sponsored by Unity Bank; 5:30 p.m. Race completion and awards.