Reno, NV - The 17th annual Mighty Mighty Tour de Nez bicycle classic welcomes the return of the hand cycling Omnium to the week's schedule for 2009, and the event has also been chosen to host the prestigious Hand Cycling National Criterium Championship presented by IGT on June 19th, 2009 in Downtown Reno.
Fields of up to 50 participants are expected to battle it out on the streets of downtown Reno for the Stars & Stripes National Champion's jersey. National Championships will be awarded in both the men's and women's categories.
In addition to the hunt for the national title, the hand cyclists will also contest a three day Omnium of their own, with criterium races in downtown Truckee on Thursday, June 18th and through the Village-at-Northstar Resort on Saturday, June 20th.
Point breakdown for each day of Omnium will be weighted, with Thursday's downtown Truckee criterium counting for 25% of the Omnium points, Saturday's Village at Northstar race 25%, and Friday's National Championship 50%.
"The Tour de Nez, a celebration of the bicycle and bike culture, is extremely excited to have the National Hand Cycling Criterium Championship for 2009," Executive Director Tim Healion said. "Hand cycling embodies the spirit of the Tour de Nez, and we are delighted to be hosting the National Championships. We look forward as well to the three day Omnium competition as well, as we welcome hand cycling back into the fold for 2009."
The City of Reno too has been extremely supportive of the event, as Mayor Bob Cashell expressed upon learning that Reno had been chosen the host of the 2009 Championship. "The entire city was very excited in having the hand cycling event in 2005 and 2006, and having the National Championships this year will make things even more exciting. The City of Reno looks forward to putting on a show with some of the best hand cyclists in the world in the Biggest Little City in the World."
In addition to the Hand Cycling National Criterium Championship and Omnium, the Tour de Nez will feature a full line up of road cycling as well. America's top professional men and women riders will descend on the Reno/Tahoe area for the three day Omnium, where they will race for prize monies exceeding $35,000.
The Mighty Tour de Nez begins on Wednesday, June 17th and runs through Saturday, June 20th. For more information, please visit www.tourdenez.org.