East Tosa Gran Prix Brings International Cycling to East Tosa
June 30, 2013
10 am – 8 pm
By Renee Fensin
On June 30, 2013, East Tosa will play host to the final race of the the Tour of America’s Dairyland East Tosa Gran Prix. This exciting event will bring national and international exposure to our community.
The Tour of America’s Dairyland is the largest competitive professional cycling event in the United States. The events take place in 11 cities in Southeastern Wisconsin over 11 days. The Tour attracts professional riders from around the world. In addition to the professional racers, amateur cyclists of different ages and skill levels will participate in races throughout the day.
The East Tosa race will be a criterium course through the neighborhood. For those not familiar with cycling, a criterium is a short course loop, usually less than a mile. It will be a multi-lap race with racers traversing the course up to 80 times. Imagine the professional cyclists zooming through the neighborhood at up to 35 miles an hour. It is sure to be exciting!
Our course will be .6 miles starting at the 72nd street parking lot on North Avenue – which is where the event stage and announcers will call the race. The course turns north on Lefeber then east on Meinecke, down to 69th street and back out to North Avenue west to the finish line. The course map can be found here: Course Map
This event will not just be one race. It will be an all-day cycling party starting with the junior boys and girls race (ages 10 to 15) at 10:25 am and culminating in the men’s professional race at 6:30 pm. A kids’ race for local children, ages 12 and under, will take place at 5:50 pm. There’s no need to register kids, just show up with your bike and helmet!
The full schedule can be found here: East Tosa Race Schedule
Why Bring the Race to East Tosa?
For the past several years the final race has been held in Madison. However, Tour organizers were looking for a new venue to create a fun, party-like atmosphere and East Tosa stepped up to the plate. The race is expected to draw up to 10,000 spectators with hopes that that number will grow to 30,000 within the next five years. If this race takes hold, it will put East Tosa on the international cycling map.
One of the principal organizers of the race, Ed Haydin, says “Bringing the race to East Tosa will draw people into our neighborhoods and allow us to promote our urban livability, our commercial district and showcase the City on a first hand basis.” People will learn what TETNA residents have known all along, East Tosa is a friendly neighborhood with great houses, excellent schools and diverse businesses. Many of these local businesses are sponsors of the Gran Prix. They are looking forward to showcasing the neighborhood they call home.
This event is not just about cycling. The Tour of America’s Dairyland website describes it as “a massive neighborhood event complete with entertainment, family fun, and kids’ activities. And it’s FREE to come and watch.” Spectators, local, national and international, are asked to “experience communities you’ve never before been or get to know your own Downtown a little better. Enjoy a hot cup of this, a cool sip of that, a taste of local culinary creation, and spend some time seeing what the local merchants have to offer!”
The residents of East Tosa will play an important role on race day. Organizers are hoping that residents will come out in full force to support this wonderful neighborhood event. Ed Haydin says, “Our hope is that residents on the race course will invite friends and family in and have a yard party to join in the festive atmosphere – much like how Halloween is in October (except warmer!).”
So show up with friends and family, cheer loudly and have loads of fun. Let’s show the world why East Tosa is the best neighborhood around.
What Residents Need to Know About Race Day
The East Tosa Gran Prix will bring approximately 10,000 fans plus riders and race staff to our neigh borhood. The spectators will be parking on our neighborhood streets and walking to the event.
The streets around the criterium course will be blocked off all day for the safety of riders and spectators.
Residents who live within the course boundaries will NOT have an opportunity to move their cars during the day. If you need to use your car during race day, it is recommended that you find street parking outside of the course.
There will be clearly designated and manned “Safe Crossing” zones for residents and spectators who need to get across the course.
North Avenue businesses along the course will be open on race day. Many businesses may offer specials on race day.
Spectators can watch the races at any point along the course. Residents along the course will have a front seat to the spectacle. Consider inviting friends and family and host a yard party.
The Start/Finish line will be on 72nd and North Ave. This is where the awards podium and announcing stand will be.
Like the Gran Prix’s Facebook page, for news and information on the race.