This Maritime Bay Classic was first held in 1989 as part of the Superweek of Cycling series which had deep roots in the State of Wisconsin.
The first event was held on a Thursday evening and featured some of the top cyclists in the world competing on the near north side Manitowoc city streets.
In 1989 we didn’t have a title sponsor, but Grover Wolf of Wolf Cycling and Fitness stepped up and provided funding to help offset the costs of bringing this fabulous event to the City. In 1990 we retained the same race course but brought in Jones Intercable (predecessor to Comcast) as our Title Sponsor, but having drawn the attention of the folks at First National Bank, now BankFirst, they stepped in and remained our Title Sponsor through 2009.
While we moved the race course around the city a bit, we eventually landed circling Washington Park on Manitowoc’s southside. We ended our run with SuperWeek in 2006, but later joined up with the fine folks with Tour of America’s Dairyland aka ToAD and relaunched the event in 2009.
With only limited excitement from the crowd, the race committee made the tough choice to end the event. That is until 2019, when original event organizer John Brunner was approached by Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels who asked if there was a chance of reviving this event. Brunner then approached ToAD organizers and was ultimately given a date in the 2020 series.
Well. . . as we all know, 2020 didn’t go exactly how it was planned and the entire ToAD series was first postponed, then cancelled.
2021 is bringing some new excitement with the added element of the event becoming a double header. Racing on both Monday, June 21st as well as Tuesday, June 22nd.
With the wonderful assistance of Mayor Nickels and the City of Manitowoc as well as the Jason Ring from the Manitowoc Area Visitor and Convention Bureau, the 2021 Maritime Bay Classic to benefit Ascend Services is sure to be the the most attended event in it’s many years of existence.