Grandview's premier summer party will kick off a little earlier this year.

The 24th annual Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic is set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday, June 16, with a Category 4/5 women's race.

Other races on the schedule include Category 4/5 men's at 6:30 p.m.; Category 3/4 and 3/4 Masters 40-plus men's at 7:10 p.m.; a kids sprint with prizes for youngsters at 7:50 p.m.; Category Pro/1/2/3 and Masters 40-plus women's at 8 p.m.; and Category Pro/1/2/3 men's at 8:50 p.m.

"In recent years, the Tour de Grandview has only featured one race for women at all racing levels," said Spencer Hackett of Cap City Cyclocross, the cycling classic's new race director.

"It could be a little intimidating for a rider at the lowest skill level competing against a Category 1 cyclist," he said. "Adding more categories allows participants to compete against other riders who have similar skills levels."

At 24 years, the Tour de Grandview is one of the longest-running cycling events in the country, Hackett said.

"To my knowledge, it's the second-longest-running consecutive event," he said. "There are older races, but they have not run consecutively. They have years when they were not held."

"Our event has been so successful because it's always been supported by the community -- our residents and the business community," said Grandview Recreation Supervisor Marta Durban. "We're able to pull in riders from all over the state of Ohio and many from out of state as well."

One sign of the event's standing in Grandview is the number of people who line the race course and the many residents who live along the course who hold parties on race night, she said.

Hackett, who competed over the last decade in the Tour de Grandview, said that support is appreciated by the cyclists.

"It always helps spur you on when people are cheering you on and offering support," he said. "It's just a great atmosphere for a race, one of the best I've experienced, with the neighborhood setting -- 3,500 to 5,000 people at the street party and all of the people at the front-yard parties."

The street party on Grandview Avenue will include an expo area, food trucks and craft beers tapped by the Ohio Taproom along with entertainment, including Shaw Brothers and the Jolly Steppers, Durban said. Raffles will offer the chance to win bikes from Trek Columbus and roll: Bicycle Co., along with other prizes.

The kids sprint event is free and open to children ages 5-10, with boys and girls races in two age categories. Parents can register their children at grandviewheights.org or in person between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on race night on the north side of Avondale and First avenues.

All participants will be fitted for a new helmet and receive a ribbon. Age-group winners will receive a savings certificate from MembersFirst Pathways Financial Credit Union.

The sprints take place on First Avenue, just below Glendale Avenue.

"I think the kids get a thrill being able to race along a portion of the route the adult cyclists use," Durban said.

The Tour de Grandview route starts on First Avenue and proceeds counterclockwise to Willard Avenue, Second Avenue, Grandview Avenue and back to First.

"It's a deceptive course," Hackett said. "The part of the course as you're heading to the second turn has a bit of an incline that you can really feel. You notice it the first time you're doing warmup laps."

Grandview Avenue will be closed to traffic at 5 p.m. on race day, Durban said.

The race course will be closed, but residents can exit or enter the area at Second Avenue and Avondale under the direction of police officers, she said.

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