The race is back in Grandview Heights.
The Tour de Grandview Cycling Classic returns on June 10 after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re so excited to be back,” race director Spencer Hackett said. “For me, Grandview was the first bike race I was a manager for, so it’s a special feeling that we can come back.
“The Grandview community has always been very supportive of bike racing,” he said. “When you have that kind of buy-in from the community, that’s what has made it successful for so long.”
The evening schedule will begin with the Category 4/5 women’s race at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Category 4/5 men’s race at 6:05 p.m., Hackett said.
“We will take a break at 6.40pm for the children’s sprints, then the races will resume with the category 3/4 men at 7.40pm followed by the women’s and men’s professional races,” he said.
“The Tour of Grandview gives people the chance to watch cyclists of all skill levels, from entry-level amateurs to professional racers,” Hackett said. “Professional cyclists who have come to Grandview in the past have included people who have gone on to compete in major races across Europe, including the Tour de France.”
By Memorial Day weekend, the number of cyclists who had registered to compete was down from 2019, Hackett said.
“I don’t know why, but it’s something most events see this year,” he said.
As in years past, the Tour de Grandview will feature a street party with live music, food, craft beers and a bike display. The street party takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. on Grandview Avenue between First and Third Avenues.
“The setting of the race, going past so many residences with people having bike race parties on their lawns, the street party, the whole atmosphere adds so much to our event,” Hackett said.
Spectators can get close to the cyclists, most of whom are happy and eager to talk and share their enthusiasm for their sport with fans, he said.
Grandview is a big cycling community and Hackett said one of his greatest pleasures is watching the excitement young people get from seeing professional cyclists speeding along the same roads they ride their own bikes.
“They can imagine themselves there,” he said.
The race will feature the same course as in previous years, with the start and finish line on First Avenue near Avondale Road. The route continues from First to Willard Avenue, then West Second before heading to Grandview Avenue and back to First.
The Grandview event offers a neighborhood feel that isn’t common for bike racing, said Brooke Hannon, who is team manager for Upland Brewing presented by Gray Goat, an Indianapolis-based cycling team.
“A lot of racing takes place in office parks or downtown parking lots,” she said. “Grandview is great with so many people gathered in the front yards cheering on the runners. It really inspires you.”
The past two years have been tough, with most racing events canceled due to the pandemic, Hannon said.
“In 2019 I took part in around 37 races – there was one almost every weekend in the season,” she said. “I think I raced maybe five times in total last year.
“You definitely lose a rhythm that you are used to when there are no races. Some people liked it because it gave them the opportunity to take a break and ride the bike for fun. “Between us, you miss the spark you get from competing. I know I’ve lost a bit from having such a long layoff.
The Grandview race is also notable because Hackett has made the same amount of money available for male and female pro runners, she said.
“Often there’s a big gap between the prize money offered to men and what’s available to women,” Hannon said.
The men’s and women’s pro races offer a guaranteed purse of at least $2,500, Hackett said.
More information about the race and street party can be found at tourdegrandview.com.