National and International Professional Cycling return to Missouri with the Tour de Grove. Featuring three days of racing in three historic neighborhoods across the City of St. Louis, the Tour de Grove is comprised of three events; Friday evening May 13th, the Midtown Rally Grand Prix in the Locust Business District, Saturday May 14th, The Tour de Grove in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood and the Dutchtown Classic in South St. Louis on Sunday, May 15th.
The Tour de Grove is one of only 29 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) professional cycling races in the United States. The NRC series represents the most prestigious professional cycling races in the United States and attracts the top professional cyclists and teams to compete from across the country and world. The Tour de Grove will be the highest profile cycling event in the Midwest.
New for 2011, the Saturday May 14th Tour de Grove is also included on the USA Crits Championship Series, the premiere criterium race series in America. All three days will feature professional men’s and women’s races in addition to a full schedule of amateur racing. Saturday and Sunday’s races will include hand cycling races as part of the 2011 U.S. Handcycling Series.
Beginning Friday evening, May 13th, the Midtown Rally Grand Prix will light up the streets of the Locust Business District and Automotive Row with a twilight criterium under the lights. One of St. Louis fastest growing neighborhoods will welcome racers from across the US and world.
The NRC and USA Crits Tour de Grove race will be held Saturday, May 14th. The course will be a 1.7 mile spectator friendly, winding circuit through the Grove neighborhood with a sprint finish along Manchester Avenue in the area’s restaurant and bar district. The professional men will compete 25 laps of this circuit for a 40+ mile race. The professional women will complete 18 laps for a 30+ mile race. The day will start with the Tour de Grove 5K run, followed by a series of amateur races divided amongst competitive ability along with a kid’s race all leading to the marquee races of the day. A community Expo area will be set up for local merchants and spectators. Following the races cyclist will return for an evening Street Sprints competition and an audience participation mini bicycle race. Adjacent to the race in The Grove will be a cycling poster show (ARTCRANK) at the Atomic Cowboy restaurant and bar running May 12th-15th.
Sunday, May 15th, the Dutchtown Classic features a challenging criterium circuit around the Dutchtown business district and Marquette Park. The Dutchtown Classic boasts a full schedule of amateur and professional racing, children’s races and a US Handcycling event.
Professional bicycle racing is an exhilarating spectator and family friendly event. The racers maneuver their bikes shoulder to shoulder through fast straightaways and technical corners at speeds approaching 40 mph. In addition to the race’s $35,000 total purse, the professional men and women will compete for the King and Queen of the Grove titles based upon leading the most laps throughout the race.
Already signed up are some of the most competitive teams in national and international cycling, including 7 teams featured in the Amgen Tour of California.
Featured teams for all three days of the Tour de Grove:
- Team Type 1/Sanofi Aventis, USA
- Team Jamis-Sutter Home, USA
- Kenda/5-Hour Energy presented by Geargrinder, USA
- United Health Care Presented by Maxxis, USA
- Jelly Belly presented by Kenda, USA
- BISSELL Pro Cycling, USA
- V Australia Pro Cycling Team, AUS
- Elbowz Racing, USA
- Pure Black Racing, New Zealand
- Rubicon-Orbea, Canada
- Team Mountain Khakis fueled by Jittery Joes, USA
- Garmin/Chipolte Development Team, USA
- Colavita/Forno d’Asolo Professional Cycling Team (Women), USA
- Team TIBCO Professional Cycling Team (Women), USA
- MellowMushroom.com (Women), USA
Riders to watch include current US Crits Champion Isaac Howe, Australian Professional Criterium Champion Jon Cantwell, former US Professional Champions Brad Huff and past Tour de Grove champion Laura Van Gilder, US Pro Criterium Champion Hilton Clarke and former Tour of Missouri Stage winner and Dutch U23 National Cyclocross Champion Boy Von Poppel.