LOGAN – The 38th annual LoToJa Classic will have a few slight changes when it rolls out from Logan on Saturday, Sept. 12th. Approximately 1,250 cyclists will ride approximately 200 miles from Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in one day, traversing three mountain passes and nearly 10,000 vertical feet.
“Although we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, we have worked tirelessly to plan for and implement several comprehensive safety adaptations to mitigate the health risks of riders, support crews, and the communities that LoToJa passes through,” LoToJa Race Director Brent Chambers said in a statement.
“We have applied CDC and local and state health department recommendations in our preparations,” he added. “With them in place, we have done what health experts say are effective to mitigate Covid-19 transmission.”
More than 50 specific health safety actions and precautions will be implemented for Saturday’s race, including mask wearing when not riding a bike, spacing out riders to improve social distancing, screening for all cyclists, no indoor gatherings, smaller groups leaving the start line, more and enlarged feed zones to increase social distancing, and all neutral feed zone staff wearing PPE and distributing food and hydration products to cyclists from behind protective barriers.
Those who do not follow the safety protocols put in place this year will be disqualified and potentially banned from future LoToJa races.
This year, the starting line will be larger, there will be two separate finish lines (licensed racers will finish at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and cyclosportive riders will finish at Jackson Hole High School) and cyclists will be dispersed at more intervals to prevent too much bunching up on the course. At 4:50 a.m., the first group of cyclists will leave Sunrise Cyclery at 138 North 100 East in Logan. Riders will continue to be released in five minute intervals until 7:30 a.m.
Licensed cyclists will head north on Highway 91 through Smithfield, Richmond and Preston while cyclosportive riders and relay categories will travel through the northwest corner of Cache Valley through Trenton, Cornish and then into Preston.
“Without the support of every community along LoToJa’s course, we wouldn’t be able to hold the event with a premium on safety,” Chamber said.
LoToJa cyclists, plus their support crews, well-wishers, event staff and volunteers, represent an entourage of approximately 3,000 people. This year’s race will have 600 course volunteers, which includes 125 Ham radio operators from the Bridgerland Amateur Radio Club, Chambers added. They provide uninterrupted communication throughout LoToJa’s mountainous and remote terrain.
For more information about this year’s race, and the safety precautions they are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit lotoja.com.