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10th Annual Tour De Fort Lee Raises Money For Education

Nelson Gutierrez, owner of Strictly Bicycles, rides a fat tire bike common in cold weather.
Nelson Gutierrez, owner of Strictly Bicycles, rides a fat tire bike common in cold weather. Photo Credit: Melissa Huele
Fort Lee Police Officers (from left) David Tropea, Dennis Conway, Steven Gerard Dominic, Steve No, Dean Mirkovic, Mike Bialoblocki and Dillon Turner.
Fort Lee Police Officers (from left) David Tropea, Dennis Conway, Steven Gerard Dominic, Steve No, Dean Mirkovic, Mike Bialoblocki and Dillon Turner. Photo Credit: Melissa Huele
Lucie Vagnerova
Lucie Vagnerova Photo Credit: Melissa Huele
Bejay and Carmen Breton with their dog Gizmo.
Bejay and Carmen Breton with their dog Gizmo. Photo Credit: Melissa Huele

FORT LEE, NJ -- Hundreds of cyclists raced through local streets to raise money for educational programs, equipment and scholarships during the 10th annual “Tour de Fort Lee.”

Sponsored by Strictly Cycling and Benzel Busch Motor Corporation -- and presented by Bergen Veledrome and Cycling Center -- the event featured nearly 400 cyclists n junior to senior level races around a criterion lined with residents and supporters.

Leandro Germanson claimed a gold medal in the race's first-ever fat tire event for citizens who don't hold racing licenses.

"I wish more women were part of this event. I am only one of four," said Lucie Vagnerova whose teammate Gregg Calletta claimed first place in the over 40 years of age category.

Doug Toback was there with his son, 9-year-old DJ, the youngest member of the Fernando Cueves Cycling Development Team out of New York. The team benefits mostly inner city teens and travels the Northeast area to compete.

Volunteers sold refreshments and 50/50 tickets.

The core group of riders are from the Fort Lee classes of 1959 through 1962, Mayor Mark Sokolich said.

"They remained friends, and this is what they do," he said. "The best part of this event is that they never forget where they came from."

Deputy Police Chief Tim Ford -- who's also president of the Fort Lee Education Foundation -- rode side by side with his brother John.

"Instead of giving kids more and more technology that they will throw away in a few years, we give them better assemblies and the scholarships," John Ford said.

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