Tuesday, June 17, 2014

1968 Tour of Somerville - Siegi Kock

Siegi Koch. Winner of the 1968 Tour of Somerville
Brian F. shared this photo of Siegi Koch from 1968 after winning the Tour of Somerville, America's oldest cycling race. Siegi is 78, still rides and lives a few miles up the road from me in Toronto. We have been riding together for 40 odd years. - Brian F.

A Tradition in Bicycle Racing Since 1940!

Congratulations to Adam Alexander for winning the 2014 Men's Tour of Somerville and to Erica Allar for winning the 2014 Women's Open!

LongsCycle has been attending the Tour of Somerville for over 20 years. It's a pleasure to spend Memorial Day in Somerville and speak with friends who have made the Monday Classic a tradition that continues through the generations. The crowd continues to grow too with the bike race the focal point of entertainment for thousands of NJ, NY and PA residents.

The Tour of Somerville Cycling Series is an exciting three-day event of competitive cycling for professionals and amateurs over Memorial Day weekend. The event culminates on Monday with the 50-mile Kugler-Anderson Memorial Tour of Somerville, known as the "Kentucky Derby of Cycling." The Tour is the oldest major bicycle race in the United States and a legend in the lore of bicycle racing. Tour of Somerville

How the Tour Started

When professional bike racer and bike shop owner, Fred Kugler, now universally known as "Pop," decided to promote a bike race in his hometown of Somerville, he encountered one problem. New Jersey state law prohibited racing on highways for prizes, and Somerville's Main Street is State Highway 28. To bypass this legislation, Kugler then decided to name the race a "tour." Hence the classic, 50-mile Tour of Somerville was born in May of 1940.
Kugler's son, Furman, a past junior champion and one of the country's most promising cyclists, won the inaugural Tour of Somerville in 1940 and repeated his victory in 1941. Carl Anderson, a friend of Kugler's won the Tour in 1942. World War II suspended the Tour from 1943-1946, and its Memorial Day date took on a sad irony when Kugler and Anderson were both killed while serving with the Armed Forces overseas. Resumed in 1947, the Senior Men's race of the Tour of Somerville was officially renamed the Kugler-Anderson Memorial, in honor of the two past winners that died for their country.


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