Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

USA Cycling Returns to the Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic in 2024

USA Cycling returns to the Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic on Sunday, June 16th.

USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States, is excited to announce its return to the historic Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic, taking place on Sunday, June 16th, 2024, at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, New York. This year marks the 52nd anniversary of this iconic event, which has become a staple in the cycling community and a beacon of opportunity and inclusion.

In line with its mission to foster diversity and talent in the sport, USA Cycling will host its flagship recruiting "Search for Speed" activation at the Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic. This initiative aims to test athletes' maximum power, offering a unique opportunity for cyclists to showcase their skills. Top-performing athletes will receive exclusive invites to the "Search for Speed" combine program, where they can further develop their potential and compete at higher levels.

"USA Cycling is incredibly excited to be part of the Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic," said Suzy Sanchez, Director of DEI and Membership Programs at USA Cycling. "This event not only celebrates the rich history of cycling in Harlem but also provides a platform to identify and nurture new talent from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to making cycling accessible and inclusive for all."

The Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic has a profound legacy, having been established in 1973 by David Walker, a former New York Police Community Affairs Detective in Harlem's 25th Precinct. The event was created as a community-focused celebration centered on bike racing and youth safety programs.

Richard Cox, the race director and Executive Director of Team Unity Incorporated, emphasized the importance of the event for the BIPOC community. "Before 1973, there were limited opportunities for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community to participate in USA Cycling at this level of competition. Our event remains committed to reaching out to the underserved," said Cox. "With a prize list exceeding $15,000, we anticipate an influx of professional cycling talent contributing to the Harlem economy."

The Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic continues to attract national and international champions, including Olympic medalists like Nelson Beasley Vails, a Harlem native and the first African-American cyclist to win a silver medal in the 1000-meter Match Sprint at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Vails, who was inducted into the US Bicycle Hall of Fame in 2009, will serve as an official spokesperson for this year's event.

The 52nd Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic promises to be a day filled with competitive racing, community engagement, and the celebration of cycling's rich heritage in Harlem. USA Cycling is honored to contribute to this prestigious event and looks forward to identifying and supporting the next generation of cycling talent.