CLAYMONT – After a successful run in Claymont in 2009, the Jason Gundel Claymont Classic returns to the town this Sunday for a second year. The classic, Delaware’s longest-running, is now in its 19th year.
The 1.2-mile course begins near Claymont Steak Shop (Delaware’s best cheesesteak, in my opinion) on Philadelphia Pike, heads a few blocks south on to Gov. Printz Boulevard, down the hill and left on Manor Avenue. Passing Archmere Academy, the riders will ascend the incline and reach Philly Pike once again, then do it all over again and again and again. Races range from 10 to 30 laps.
Racing begins at 8 a.m. with the women’s open category, a 15-mile competition. That will be followed by the men’s category 5 (10 miles) at 8:45, men’s category 4 (20 miles) at 9:30, men’s 35+ (20 miles) at 10:30, men’s 50+ (20 miles) at 11:30 and the men’s category 1/2/3 (30 miles) at 2 p.m. That last race will determine Delaware’s men’s criterium champion.
A total of $1,500 in cash prizes will be awarded, along with merchandise. Registration fees range from $20 to $30.
For the first time, the day will include the Claymont Kids’ Classic. Children will race in four age groups: 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10. There is no fee for registration, which begins at 11 a.m. Children are encouraged to ride their two- or three-wheel bikes, and parents are advised to bring cameras to capture the action. Riders must wear a helmet. All participants will receive a commemorative medal.
The race is named for the son of organizer Jay Gundel. Jason Gundel was a bicycle mechanic and racer who died at 29 in 1999 from complications caused by a spinal tumor. It benefits the Kelly Heinz-Grundner Brain Tumor Awareness Foundation, which offers financial and other support to families of brain tumor patients.
The classic will result in changed traffic patterns and road closures in the area from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Free parking will be available at the Claymont Fire Station and the Waterfall Banquet and Conference Center on Philadelphia Pike.
Register for the race here.