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History of Velo Promo


Velo Promo was founded in the fall of 1978, by Robert Leibold and Norm Gall of Santa Cruz, CA.


Robert had been promoting races since 1971 with the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club (Starting with the Santa Cruz Criterium, then La Contienda Stage Race (1975, including Watsonville Criterium and Fort Ord Road Race) and the Capitola Criterium (1976) and the first Santa Cruz Cyclocross (1974). Norm joined in with the club's projects in 1976, and together they picked up the Tour of Nevada City while it was between local organizers (1977-79) and put together the Perrier Nine Day Classic in 1979. Norm left Velo Promo at the end of 1979.


Velo Promo conducted the club's (SCCCC's) races for the next several years, and built up a few new ones,  including the Copperopolis Road Race, and putting several together in 1981 to found the Labor Day Omnium (now the California Cup). This included the Giro di San Francisco, which was at that point a project of the Columbus Day Celebration Committee and the Peninsula Velo Club (with Tom Simpson, co-founder of the Pilarcitos CycleSport group in 2002.)


In the early 80's, Velo Promo answered a call from the Oregon High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, to come start a race in that area; that event, now the Cascade Cycling Classic, organized now locally, is one of the best events in the Northwest.


In 1988, Velo Promo started up a series of San Joaquin Valley races in February, in response to a call from the U.S. National Team, who was looking for early season training races. Many of these events are still on the early calendar, including the Snelling/Merced weekend and the Pine Flat weekend. The Visalia and Rocky Hill races were also a part of this series, started by Velo Promo.


Velo Promo has put on the Early Bird Criterium series since 1988 in Fremont, introducing many new riders to racing each January. The 1988-92 Tour of Nevada/Tour of the Loneliest Road 9-day stage race across Nevada (Point-to-point with police escorts, etc), while never a financial success, is looked back to fondly by riders, officials and volunteers, and awaits only a sponsor to return. Three other stage races, the Madera County Stage Race, the Kern County/Mariposa Women's Stage Race and the Gold Nugget Junior Stage Race have been on the VP calendar.


In cyclocross, Velo Promo has continued to organize events since that first one in Santa Cruz in 1974. It grew into the Uncle Charlie's cyclocross, and then into the Surf City CX series, which was a Velo Promo event until VP moved from Santa Cruz to Soulsbyville in 1990. The Southern Mines CX series in the Sierra was started in 1988, and the East Bay CX Series began in 1995. Velo Promo has organized the U.S. National Cyclocross Championships 3 times, in 1984 in Santa Cruz, 1986 in Scotts Valley, and the classic rain and snow race in 1993 in Tuolumne.


Currently, Velo Promo conducts 38 separate racing events (including individual stages, cyclocross,  mountain bike races and training criteriums), all in California.

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