Tri-Village News

Race's 20th go-round will be nighttime affair

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JOHN HULKENBERG/THISWEEKNEWS
Riders make the turn from First Avenue onto Fairview Avenue during last year's Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic.
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The Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic will return for its 20th year with a new course and a new day.

Make that a new night.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 28.

Over the last several years, the race was held on Sunday afternoons.

"Moving the race to Friday night will make it even easier for people to attend," said Marta Durban, recreation supervisor for the city of Grandview Heights. "People are more in a party mood on Friday night. Usually it was pretty hot on Sunday afternoon, so it was a long, grueling day for everybody."

Both men and women professional cyclists and amateur riders will compete in races that will range from 20 to 40 miles in length.

The new criterium course will start and finish on West First Avenue between Glendale and Hope avenues and will pass through the Bank Block on Grandview Avenue as well as Willard and Second avenues.

The race schedule includes men's category 4/5 at 6:30 p.m.; a kids' sprint with prizes at 7 p.m.; the women's race at 7:30 p.m.; men's category 3 at 8:05 p.m.; and men's category 1/2 at 8:50 p.m.

Youngsters will be able to register for their sprint event on the north side of First Avenue and Avondale.

A fun lap will give the public the opportunity to ride the same course as the professional cyclists.

The Grandview Hop street party will be held simultaneously with the cycling event and will feature live bands, food and a beer garden.

"It's going to be an exciting night of racing and fun," Durban said.

It is unusual for a community to host a cycling event for as long as 20 years, she said.

"It's very hard to believe it's been two decades," Durban said. "The main reason our race has lasted so long is because our residents really want it. They come out and support the event every year. We couldn't do it without their support."

Many residents who live along the race route hold bike-race parties -- and even more may do so for this year's evening event, she said.

Rider registration is open at tourdegrandview.com. Event sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available by emailing Kristen Smeltzer at kristen.smeltzer@ml.com.

For more information about the cycling classic, visit its website; its Facebook page, facebook.com/tourdegrandview; or follow @tourdegrandview on Twitter.

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