A popular circuit racing event for teen and adult bicyclists that used to draw as many as 250 riders is returning to Copperopolis this Sunday, and a 2.75-mile stretch of Little John Road will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The start for the 2019 Copper Valley Circuit Race will be set up next to Copper Town Square, and the finish line will be on Little John Road, said Robert Leibold with Velo Promo. Leibold is a Soulsbyville resident who’s been organizing bicycle races in California since 1971.

Riders this Sunday will be amateurs licensed by USA Cycling. From 2009 to 2014, the Copper Town Square Circuit Race drew 250 to 300 riders from all over California and Nevada, Leibold said.

A circuit race is a series of multi-lap races of varying lengths for different categories of riders on a short closed loop, according to Velo Promo staff. Riders sprint for prizes on designated laps during the event, and for prizes at the finish. Set up will begin at 7 a.m. The total racing program will be seven hours in length 9 a.m to 4 p.m.

For this Sunday’s races, the circuit will be closed to traffic and it’s 2.75 miles out and 2.75 miles back on Little John, a paved, divided roadway. Hairpin turnarounds will be at either end. Finish is on Littlejohn about 500 yards down from the parking areas. The race does not go around Copper Town Square.

Organizers have barricades, and signage for detours, caution bike race, flagman ahead, prepare to stop, road closed, and other signs. Signed detour routes are supposed to connect the closed ends of Little John via Copper Cove, O’Byrnes Ferry and Reeds Turnpike. Access to all businesses at Copper Square will be available by vehicle and on foot during the entire event. Identifiable course marshals will be at the ends of Little John and on Tower Street to maintain barricades and direct traffic.

Leibold emphasized this event, the 2019 Copper Valley Circuit Race, is similar to the former Copper Town Square Circuit Race, which used to be run by Lee Shuemake of TopSport Cycling in Sonora. This Sunday’s event is not to be confused with the 21-mile-long Copperopolis Road Race.

For more information about the Copper Valley Circuit Race, visit https://www.velopromo.com/2019 .

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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