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It’s Professional Cycling with Mint Juleps, Of Course.

Female CyclistThe Tour de Nez has a way of turning spectators into participants.

From June 17-20, the event’s cycling races and festivities move from Sparks to Reno and finally through Tahoe. Tour de Nez attendees will see a lightning quick time trial, cycling team tactics and a furious circuit race through the narrow streets of the Village at Northstar, but the race would not be complete without a tasty mint julep.

But what is more unique about the Tour de Nez is what attendees can do: race messenger-style bikes through the streets of Reno, straddle a clunker for  low-speed laps for a chance to win prizes, or saddle up and soak in the Tahoe scenery with a group of pros.

Even after cyclists climb off the bike, the party goes on with live music, an expo and food and drink sprinkled in between cycling events.

“The festivals include live music and big parties every day,” said Tim Healion, founder and race director of the Tour de Nez. “You can ride your bike all day in the Sierra then watch a killer bike race and party all night.”

The festival feel keeps the event true to its roots as a party that over time grew into a prestigious domestic cycling race.

“Every race I know started as a bike race, and then they had to figure out what to add to get people to come,” said Healion. “We did it backwards – we started out as a party for the first seven years, and then we added the bike race to make it more interesting.”

Today, the Tour de Nez is an important stop on the professional cycling circuit, attracting many of the top U.S. professional cycling teams including UnitedHealthcare (formerly Health Net), Kelly Benefit Strategies, Bissell, Jelly Belly and Fly V Australia.

Pros, masters, women and handcyclists will compete over three days at a time trial in Sparks and circuit races in downtown Reno and at Lake Tahoe’s Village at Northstar, all with the goal to be crowned Tour de Nez champion.

To properly sum up the experience, here’s what the 2007 Overall Champ had to say, “This race is awesome. The others are stupid.”

Well said.

2010 Schedule of Events

Thursday, June 17 – Sparks, Nev.

• Sparks Nugget Prologue Time Trial starting and finishing right in the middle of the craziest farmers market you’ll ever experience. The event starts at 5:00 p.m. with music and food to follow at the Sparks Farmers Market.

Young CyclersFriday, June 18 – Reno, Nev.

• Group ride with athletes in the morning with coffee stop.

• Downtown Reno Circuit Race that starts and finishes on 1st St. at West St. (Pro men/elite women/masters)

• National championship handcycle race.

• Races for clunkers, messengers, and kids at West Street Plaza on the Truckee River in Reno.

• Party afterwards at West Street Plaza.

Saturday, June 19 – Northstar-at-Tahoe, Calif.

• Village circuit race at the Village at Northstar-at-Tahoe for Pro men/women/handcycles/masters and Lance Armstrong Junior Road race Series.

• Village races for clunkers and kids.

• Expo, music, demos, food, festival, and party all in the Village at Northstar

Sunday, June 20

• Ride with the Pros

For more information and registration visit the Tour de Nez site.

Tour de Nez: A bike race … with benefits

bikeracers300Reno Tahoe is gearing up for the Northstar-at-Tahoe Tour de Nez June 17-21, when one of the West’s premier cycling events comes to the Sierra Nevada with events in Reno, Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

This is bicycle racing at its finest – some of the best athletes in the sport working with and against each other in a race that is part endurance, part speed and part strategy, all against the backdrop of perfect summer weather and the Sierra Nevada range. But it’s not all about the racing: The Tour brings with it a festival atmosphere buzzing with the energy of fitness freaks and partiers – and everyone and everything in between.

So pack up the bike, make your way to Reno Tahoe and enjoy Nevada’s great outdoors.

From Fernando Leal, a Reno developer and supporter of the Tour de Nez:

As developer for The MONTAGE in downtown Reno, I understand the importance of a vital urban core. Cities thrive when there is a downtown from which civic pride and participation can grow and flourish; a core where resident and tourist participation is encouraged through active lifestyles in recreation, the arts, restaurants, entertainment and events.

The Tour de Nez combines two of my great passions – downtown Reno and cycling. A five-day cycling festival that includes recreational rides, world-class racing, cycling movies, parties and more … what’s not to love? I am honored that Montage Marketing Corporation is a proud sponsor of the Tour de Nez. The sponsorship is our way of demonstrating our appreciation and support to the event organizers for hosting a world-class event that we Renoites can be proud of.

tourdenezleal-300Special events like the Tour de Nez and Artown bring thousands of visitors to our area who stay in our hotels, dine at our great local restaurants, and help with a downtown culture we are all working hard to create. These events also leave visitors with a great impression of Reno so they serve as good public relations ambassadors for our city.  The Tour de Nez has been instrumental over the last 15 years in providing a sense of community for Reno residents. Reno residents benefit from a variety of wonderful events that provide great entertainment options nearly every weekend. These events have a huge impact on improving the quality of life in our great city. The least we can do as citizens is to support these wonderful amenities in order to ensure their long-term viability.

Race schedule:

June 17

  • Meet and greet with pro racers at Amendment 21
  • Screening of “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”

June 18

  • Downtown Truckee criterium for professional men and women, masters and handcycles
  • Downtown Truckee races for clunkers, messengers and kids
  • Music and feast after races in downtown Truckee

June 19

  • Morning group ride with athletes
  • Downtown Reno Circuit Race for professional men and women, masters and handcycles
  • Downtown Truckee races for clunkers, messengers and kids
  • Reno Film Festival bicycle film “Breaking Away,” at Wingfield Park Amphitheater

June 20

  • Morning group ride with athletes
  • Village circuit race at the Village at Northstar at Tahoe for Pro men, women and masters, juniors and handcycles
  • Village races for clunkers, kids and messengers
  • Expo, music, demos, food, festival, and party, all in the Village at Northstar

June 21

  • LUX, The great Tour de Nez Century ride along the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe

Tour de Nez rides into town

Courtesy of

Image courtesy of Ryan Jerz

The Tour de Nez, Northern Nevada’s premier cycling event, comes to Reno-Tahoe this week with an exciting schedule of events and entertainment, as well as some new venues. This year, the tour will include action in Reno, Truckee and North Tahoe.

Schedule and locations

Tuesday June 17 at Grand Sierra Resort: 6-8 pm Athlete presentation, Grand Theater; 8-11 pm Athlete meet and BBQ, Nikki Beach
Wednesday, June 18 at Grand Sierra Resort: 5:20-5:30 pm 10th Annual Clunker Classic; 5:40-6 pm Kids’ Races; 6-6:30 pm Messengers; 6:50-8 pm Pro NRC Criterium; 8-8:20 pm Pro Awards & Interviews; 8-11 pm Block Party
Thursday, June 19 at Northstar at Tahoe: 10 am-11 pm Pro NRC Time Trial viewing area – top of Gondola; 9-10:30 am LUX Recreational registration & check-in, Basque Room-Village at Northstar; 11:05 am-12:30 pm LUX Recreational Time Trial viewing area-top of Gondola; 12-12:30 pm Time Trial Awards & Interviews Time Trial Finish; 12:30-6 pm LUX Golf Tournament
Thursday, June 19 at Downtown Truckee: 5:30-5:40 pm 10th Annual Clunker Classic; 5:45-6:05 pm Kids’ Races; 6:15-7:30 pm Pro NRC Criterium; 7:40-8 pm Pro Awards & Interviews; 8-10 pm Truckee Block Party
Friday June 20 at Northstar at Tahoe: 9-10 am LUX Mountain Bike Demo & Bike Park ride check-in Plaza Bikes; 10 am LUX Mountain Bike Park Ride begins Plaza Bikes; 2-5 pm Tour de Nez Expo Village Overlook; 1:30 pm Northstar Pro NRC Road Circuit Race begins Guest Drop Off; 1-4 pm Live Music on Village Stage; 4:30 pm Northstar Pro NRC Road Circuit Race finish Guest Drop Off; 4:30-5 pm Awards & Interviews Guest Drop Off; 5-8 pm Live Music & Tour de Nez party
Saturday, June 21 at Northstar at Tahoe: 7:15 am – 8:00 am Century Ride registration & check-in; 8 am Century Ride; 11 am-5 pm Tour de Nez Expo; 11 am-2 pm Tour de Nez Festival; 11:30 am-2:30 pm Live Music; 1:30-1:45 pm 10th Annual Clunker Classic; 1:50 pm-2 pm Clunker Classic Awards; 2-2:15 pm Masters’ 35+ 1, 2, 3 Circuit Race warm up; 2:15-3:15 pm Masters’ 35+ 1, 2, 3 Circuit Race; 3-6 pm Live Music; 3:20-3:30 pm Masters’ 35+ 1, 2, 3 Awards; 3:35-4 pm Kids’ Races; 4-5:15 pm Women’s Pro 1, 2, 3 Warm-up/Circuit Race; 5:20-5:45 pm Women’s Pro 1, 2, 3 Awards; 5:45-7:30 pm Mighty Tour de Nez Twilight Pro Warm-up/NRC Circuit Race; 6:30-9:30 pm Live Music; 7:30-7:45 pm Pro NRC Awards; 7:30-10 pm Live Music & Tour de Nez Party
Sunday, June 22 at Northstar at Tahoe: 8-9:30 am LUX Ride with the Pros registration, check-in & breakfast; 9:30-11 am LUX Ride with the Pros bike ride

For more event information, click here.