July 24, 2008

Colorful excitement as Tour de Racine debuts

When cyclists come out to play, everyday streets are transformed into racetracks.

Millions line the roads every year to watch the Tour de France.

Today's Tour de Racine: Not so much.

Maybe because the event is new here. Maybe because "criterium" isn't a word we're familiar with. Maybe because it is, after all, a work day. Whatever the reason, the excitement of hundreds of cyclists zooming around Downtown was enjoyed by only a handful of fans ... and many of those who did turn out were connected to this racer or that: a friend, a parent, a girlfriend.

Those who did come to watch were treated to a colorful scene, as a leg of the International Cycling Classic zoomed around -- and around, and around -- a .78 mile course of Main, Sixth, Wisconsin and Third Streets. The first race sent scores of elite men around the course 35 times -- a total of 27.3 miles. The breakaway was led by three racers who managed to hold off the rest of the pack.

The three leaders in their final lap

Winner was Marc Fournier of Winnipeg; Jonathan Heile of Milwaukee was second; and Doug Wamback of Menomonee Falls came in third.

Races will continue all day.

Our earlier story is HERE.

And HERE'S a link sent to us by Mark Czerniec to an interesting story about the voice of Super Week," Eddy Van Guyse, who's been announcing this race for 26 years.

1 comment:

  1. The starting gun for the main event -- the Pro/1/2 Men's race -- goes off at 6:00 tonight, with announcer Eddy Van Guyse (the underhanded Cinzano rider in the movie Breaking Away,) introducing the cyclists and the national anthem at 5:45.

    These Superweek races are well-attended in Kenosha (Library Park tomorrow) and Milwaukee (huge parties on Downer Saturday). If Racine gives this a chance, it could grow into a great annual event.