Competitive cyclists will race through the streets of
Downtown Lawrence and Haskell Indian Nations University
Friday through Sunday
(LAWRENCE) The 7th Annual Tour of Lawrence will offer a new venue as well as a return to an old favorite for more than 750 professional and amateur cyclists who will be racing the streets of Lawrence on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tour of Lawrence is a premier, USA Cycling-sanctioned event on the Pro-Am men and women cyclists’ circuit, presented by U.S. Bank and made possible by eXplore Lawrence, the travel and tourism organization for Lawrence. The races include street sprints, circuit races and criterium, as well as free kids’ races, free live music and lots of fun for Lawrence.
“A free street concert by Split Lip Rayfield will be part of the Tour of Lawrence fun that cyclists and spectators will enjoy,” according to Bob Sanner, eXplore Lawrence. The first race begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. with the Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Street Sprints on Vermont Street between 7th and 9th Streets. From 6:30 to 10 p.m., there will be a free Kids’ Zone with bounce house and inflatable games, as well as food and beverage sales on 8th Street between Vermont and Massachusetts Streets. Following the Street Sprint, the powerhouse trio of Split Lip Rayfield will kick off the street party. “Originally from Kansas and celebrating their latest record, ‘I’ll Be Around,’ Split Lip Rayfield is on tour as they stop in to provide the free outdoor concert that is a traditional part of Tour of Lawrence,” Sanner said.
Saturday bike races offer a change of venue from previous Tour of Lawrence courses. From 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., the Meadowbrook Apartments Campus Criterium Race takes cyclists on a new, urban road course that runs through historic Haskell Indian Nations University campus and the quaint Breezedale Historic District of Lawrence. Although it is a change from the traditional hilly KU campus course, Sanner said, “Don’t be fooled. This course is truly challenging with long, fast, wide-open sections as well as urban streets. It takes a racer’s best driving skills to appreciate this wonderful 2.2 miles-per-loop course.”
The fast pace continues Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the Free State Brewery Downtown Criterium Race. This year, the course returns to the former two-time Collegiate National Championship course, with a start/finish line at 9th and Massachusetts Streets, taking in a circuit that runs south to 10th, then over to Vermont, where racers go north to 7th, back to Massachusetts and south again to 10th. This course will give spectators lots of opportunities to find a spot along the street or dine at a café with outdoor tables and watch some of the top names in competitive racing in action.
Events for the kids continue Sunday morning with free Kids’ Bike Races at 11:00, as well as the bounce house and inflatable games from 9 a.m. to noon on 8th Street between Vermont and Kentucky Streets. For the young riders with big ambitions, registration for the free Kids’ Bike Races is on 9th Street between Vermont and Massachusetts Streets, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45. The kids’ races begin at 11:00 a.m. with races and courses for differing skills and comfort levels. The competitive races for adults begin again at noon.
Tour of Lawrence brings in over 750 racers annually from around the country, along with their families and friends, Sanner said. “Coinciding with Free State Festival creates a wonderful chance for the riders and spectators to take advantage of the Lawrence Arts Center’s films and activities after the races, while people attending the Free State Festival will have an opportunity to see some impressive bike racing through the streets of Lawrence, the Haskell University campus and downtown.” Registration and more information on the races, kids’ events and schedules are available at touroflawrence.com or find it on Facebook.
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For More Information, contact:
785.856.5302 (w) 785.876.2660 (m)