The 2009 Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic will get under way at noon Sunday with the Women's III-IV competition.

The 2009 Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic will get under way at noon Sunday with the Women's III-IV competition.

A full day of criterium racing will continue with the last race - a 12-mile event featuring amateur men cyclists - beginning at 6:30 p.m.

This year the Tour de Grandview is partnering with the Hyde Park Blast in Cincinnati for a combined two-day cycling event. The Hyde Park Blast will take place on Saturday.

"We decided to partner up with the Hyde Park Blast because we were conflicting with them," said Tour de Grandview race director J. Baumeister. "It will make it much easier for the cyclists to be able to go one day in Cincinnati then come up to Grandview for a second day of racing."

The Hyde Park event's date is set by the city of Cincinnati and cannot be changed, Baumeister said.

The Grandview event has traditionally been held over the last weekend in June. Last year, the Tour de Grandview took place over two days. At the time, Baumeister said, some riders indicated they might have competed in the Grandview event except for the conflict with the Hyde Park race.

The two races are offering a combined purse of $13,000, and bonus prizes are also being offered to teams and individuals who post the best results over the two days of racing, he said.

"It's a little more incentive for them to compete in both events," Baumeister said.

The Women's III-IV event on Sunday will total 15 miles.

A 12-mile Juniors race will begin immediately after the start of the women's race at 12:01 p.m.

"The course is long enough that we can hold both those races at the same time," Baumeister said. "The spectators will be able to watch two races at the same time, so it should be exciting."

Also on Sunday's racing schedule are the 20-mile Master's 35+ race at 1 p.m.; a 30-mile Women's race at 2:10 p.m.; the 45-mile Men's Pro I-II at 3:45 p.m.; the Men's III-IV at 5:45 p.m. and the Men's V race at 6:30 p.m.

The Tour de Grandview will feature its traditional route with the start and finish on Broadview Avenue. Riders will head north and turn left on First Avenue, then left on Fairview Ave. They will proceed left on Urlin Avenue and turn left on Goodale Boulevard to return to Broadview.

"It's the route we're famous for. The riders really like it," Baumeister said. "That's because it has a hill, a little technical section and it's open. There are always a lot of spectators and people having lawn parties. The riders notice that as they compete."

The Tour de Grandview offers spectators a chance to get up close and personal with the athletes, he said.

"There aren't many events where you can meet world class athletes," he said.

"I'd advise people to take the opportunity to get to meet some of the riders. They are so approachable," Baumeister said. "It makes it easier to find someone to root for if you get to meet some of the riders."

The Tour de Grandview is in its 17th year, making it one of the longest continuously running cycling events in the country, he said.

"I know some riders would have preferred keeping it a two-day event in Grandview because they like the community and they like coming here and staying with host families," Baumeister said. "But we felt reducing the race to one day and joining with the Hyde Park race was the best way to meet the needs of the most riders we can."

On Saturday, the annual Tour de Grandview street party will be held from 5:30 to 11 p.m. on Grandview Avenue. The popular kids' sprints races will take place at 5 p.m.

More information about the cycling classic is available at www.tourdegrandview.com.