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