Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wachusett Road Race to Finish in Princeton Center

Race Update - The ice storm of mid-December, 2008 caused devastation to many north central Massachusetts cities and towns. Princeton and Westminster were hit particularly hard. The Wachusett Mountain State Reservation suffered major damage, especially to the power lines headed up to the summit. The state decided to bury the power lines along what is normally our ascent road.

Progress on the project was slow to begin, and after we assessed the situation, the Longsjo staff decided to move the finish of the Wachusett Mountain Road Race to Princeton center. We know that many racers love the grueling final climb to the summit, and we expect to finish there in 2010.

There are some very positive aspects that come along with finishing in Princeton center:

  • Increased spectator participation

  • Feed Zone workers will be able to see their riders finish!

  • Festival atmosphere on the town common

  • The finish will be approx. 100 meters up Mountain Road, following the right turn off of Gregory Hill Rd. (The Wall). There should be some amazing duels on the final climb!

We appreciate everyone’s understanding of this situation, and can’t wait to see you July 2-5, 2009! -The Longsjo Staff.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A profile of one of our great sponsors - Echappe Equipment

This episode of the Longsjo Podcast profiles one of our incredible sponsors, Echappe Equipment. Gabe Lloyd of Echappe talks about how his company got it's name, what they do, and what they recommend for the 2009 Longsjo TT. Check these guys out at, they have everything you need to get the extra aerodynamic advantage at this year's Longsjo. Filmed at the 2009 Tour of the Battenkill.

New TT course for 2009!

We have confirmed our new Courtyard by Marriott South Street Time Trial course, taking place July 2, 2009. The Rindge Road course we have used in Fitchburg, Ashby, and Ashburnham in 2007 and 2008 has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer suitable for a TT course. The new course begins on South St. near the town offices in Westminster, MA, heads out to Mare Meadow Lane in Hubbardston, and returns to Dawley Rd. and South St. in Westminster. It's a 14 km TT with some gradual hills, and some great views of a reservoir system. Check out this great flyover in youtube, or watch it here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Longsjo Memory from Bob Simpson Winner in 1968

In 1968, I was just 19 years old. I had a good sprint and was a good bike handler, so I did well in the criterium races that year. The previous year, I had placed well in the Fitchburg Junior race and it seemed that the circuit was one that I was happy with.

In the 1968 Art Longsjo Classic, Fran├žois Mertens, John Aschen, and I attacked simultaneously to break away. We got a good rhythm going and held off the main pack. Aschen, who was not the best sprinter, led out the final kilometer and Fran├žois and I jumped past on either side of him in the sprint to the finish line. My good acceleration and the fact that Francois waited for me to go, making it a short sprint, worked in my favour and I won by a couple of bike lengths.

The prize for first place, that year, was a console colour TV which John Gromek and I stuffed mostly into the trunk of our ’55 Chevy to take back to New Jersey. We must have somehow put our bikes in the back seat of the car we didn’t have a roof racks in those days. On the drive home from the race, we were stopped by the police who wanted to check to make sure that we hadn’t stolen the TV that was hanging out of the trunk. The next year I couldn’t attend the race, but the winner, Jocelyn Lovell, won a car for first place if I remember correctly!

At the time, only the 9th running of the race, I was the youngest to win, at 19 years old.

When I raced in the Fitchburg Junior race the year before, I remember watching Sammy Watson, who had won in 1966, prepare to drive away after his race with all of his equipment, bikes and bags, packed inside of his Volkswagen Beetle. I was greatly impressed by his ability to squeeze everything into that little car. -Bob Simpson

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pro-Team Discount Announced

We’re pleased to announce the 2009 Pro-Team Discount Program for the 50th edition of the Longsjo. This improved discount program applies to Pro/1 Men, and Pro 1/2 Women.

  • Register 4 riders by May 25th and get one free

  • Register 6 riders by May 25th and get two free. Register the first riders online, and we’ll create manual entries for the complimentary positions.

  • If you have a past Longsjo champion on your team, current national or world champion, (any specialty, road, track, mountain, etc.) a member of the 2008 Olympic team (any specialty or nation) then that rider’s entry fee is automatically waived!

  • If one of your team directors or managers is a past Longsjo champion and is going to attend the 2009 Longsjo with the team, then we can add a bonus free registration!

Colavita is the first full team to sign up, and 2008 winner Kyle Wamsley will attempt to defend his title!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2009 Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Podcast - Episode Four - 2001 Criterium Storm

This episode of the Longsjo Podcast has some incredible footage of the soaking rain that forced the early cancellation of the Pro Men's Criterium in 2001. Baden Cooke took the stage win, as Dick Ring made the call. I remember hearing stories about the rivers that were flowing down the middle of Main St. when this happened. You can see in some of these shots what people are talking about. Anyone want a Briko Umbrella? -Ed

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Greeting from Terry Longsjo-Brackett

In this brief podcast episode, Terry Longsjo - Brackett welcomes back our returning champions. Terry is a remarkable woman who has seen the race develop over 50 years. The Art Longsjo memorial race began, and continues as a tribute to her late husband Arthur M. Longsjo Jr.

Friday, March 27, 2009

2009 Fitchburg Longsjo Podcast Episode Two - Mayor George Bourque Interview

In the second episode of the 2009 Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Podcast we talk to former Fitchburg Mayor George Bourque. Bourque was the mayor of Fitchburg in 1960 during the first Civic Days and Art Longsjo Memorial Race. Anne O'Connor and I (Ed Collier) interviewed Mayor Bourque last year, and he was such a warm, funny character. We can't wait to see him in July for the 50th Longsjo, and the 50th Civic Days! You can also watch the video in higher quality on youtube.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Longsjo Memory from Lyne Bessette

Lyne Bessette - ’99,’00,’01,’02

I always seem to have found my racing legs just in time for Fitchburg every year! That race was almost a hometown race for me. My parents would drive down, even my uncle and aunt came one year.

In 2000 on the downhill there was a huge crash and I remember the ambulance.... Racers were saying that it was very bad. At that time I didn't know the guy, but it happened to be Tim Johnson who had hit a sign post at full speed. We met that next January in California at the Saturn team camp. He is now my husband!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Podcast - Episode One

The Podcast is back online! The first episode of the 2009 Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Podcast is up and running. Head over to to check it out, or just watch it here on blogger, or follow this link to youtube. It's a long one, about ten minutes. There is some great footage of Davis Phinney, Ron Keifel, and Rebecca Twigg. We've got a ton of footage that has been popping up, so we'll be publishing many more episodes this year. I'm working on the RSS issues with the iTunes store, so as soon as I get that figured out I'll let you know. Enjoy! -Ed

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Send us your Longsjo Photos!

We need your photos! (and video too)

In gearing up for the 2009 Longsjo, we're trying to gather as much memorabilia as we can to represent the history of the race. We've got a great collection of shots from the 60s, 70s, and the 2000s, but we could always use more. More from the 80s and 90s especially. Do you have some snapshots you want to share, or digital files you want to send? We will give you photo credit for your submission of course!

If you've got some video or film footage you'd like to share, we'd love to see it. I know that someone out there has some 8mm film of the Longsjo in the 1970s and 80s. We can help you convert that to video, and add it to our archive.

If you've got anything you'd like to share, or questions o how to get it here, send me an email: ecollier @ (remove the spaces)

Photo of Lance in 1992, Courtesy of Art Caponi

Saturday, February 7, 2009

50th Annual Longsjo Fleece Gear Now Available!

Custom Longsjo fleece gear can help you get through the winter!

Hi all, We just got our first small order of custom embroidered fleece vests and jackets from Columbia Sportswear! The stuff is amazing, and the 50th Longsjo logo really pops! We'll be placing orders throughout the winter and early spring, or as long as our supplies hold out. The fleece jackets and vests are incredibly warm, and the technical softshell is a fantastic garment that can even zip into your other selected Columbia parkas and shells. If you're in Fitchburg you can check out the window display at 773 Main St. Check out the specs and pricing:

The Products:

Columbia Fleece Vest - $38
Full Zip
Two External Pockets
High Collar
Black in Color
Men’s and Women’s Sizing

Columbia Fleece Jacket - $45
Full Zip
Two External Pockets
High Collar
Charcoal / Black in Color
Men’s and Women’s Sizing

Columbia Shelby’s Softshell - $90

Full Zip
Two External Pockets
High Collar
Grey in Color
Men’s and Women’s Sizing
Find Your Size: Click Here

Local pick-up is available from the Longsjo office, or we can ship it to you for $5 via USPS.

You can start the ordering process by emailing us at with what you'd like. Once we get 20 or so pieces requested, we'll place the order with the manufacturer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2009 Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Opens Registration!

We are proud to announce that registration for the 2009 Fitchburg Longsjo Classic has officially opened on!

2009 is the 50th edition of the Longsjo and we have some amazing celebrations planned to honor the incredible history of our race. These events are well into the planning stages and include:

  • The return of many of our past champions
  • City wide displays and exhibits honoring the history of the race
  • Integration with Fitchburg’s Civic Days celebration (also celebrating 50 years)
  • Past champions parade and champions dinner
  • A very special reunion (announcement coming soon!)


We are maintaining the same stages as in previous years, though we are switching the order from 2008.

Thursday July 2 - Courtyard by Marriott Fitchburg - Rindge Road Time Trial
Friday July 3- Fitchburg State College Circuit Race
Saturday July 4 - Wachusett Mountain Road Race
Sunday July 5 - Workers’ Credit Union Downtown Criterium


The race hotel has undergone a dramatic transformation for 2009. Though the hotel is in the same location as the past 17 years, the Best Western Royal Plaza is now the Courtyard by Marriott - Fitchburg. The hotel also features a CoCo Key indoor water resort, so bring your entire family to the race with you! Reservations are being made directly through the hotel in 2009. Please call the hotel at 978.342.7100

The Longsjo is again partnering with Fitchburg State College to offer dormitory style housing. There is some major construction going on at the Mara Village Suites, so housing will be at the Russell towers complex on a block or so from the race course.

The one drawback for these dorms is that there are only 40 rooms ( 80 beds) available with window AC units. Once these sell out, there will only be non-ac beds available at a reduced cost.

The meal plan is back for 2009, and is now available to racers who are staying away from the college. You can purchase the dormitory housing and meal plan at


If you are among the first 100 racers to register at, you are automatically entered to win an 8gb iPod Nano! Don’t delay, Registration fees increase by $15 after June 15th, and most categories will fill long before that day.

You can also find us on Facebook, and get updated on all the fun things we are working on for 2009.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some Great Local Coverage

I was working on the Longsjo website today looking to add some content, and I came across this amazing display of race coverage from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. The Longsjo gets a tremendous amount of coverage from all the local and state papers including the Sentinel and Enterprise, Fitchburg Pride, Worcester Telegram and Gazette and the Boston Globe. The Telegram's coverage includes video and multimedia slideshows in addition to the daily and advance coverage of the race. Click on the Telegram links to check out the amazing work by the staff. -Ed

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting Ready to Open Registration

Happy New Year everyone! We’re getting close to opening registration for the 50th edition of the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. We have some exciting events planned for this historic occasion! We’re going to use this blog, our e_newsletter, and Facebook to keep racers, sponsors, past champions and fans updated on all things Longsjo.

Our goal is to open registration for the race, as well as Fitchburg State College dorms on Monday January 26th. We’ll send out an email to all of last year’s riders as soon as we open up on bikereg. Stay safe and warm this winter, and we’ll see you in July! -Ed