Detroit Athletic Club to host inaugural Detroit Cycling Championship – Crain’s Detroit Business

More than 300 amateur and professional bicyclists are expected to race in downtown Detroit for the inaugural Detroit Cycling Championship, hosted by the Detroit Athletic Club on Sept. 9, where $45,000 in cash prizes will be at stake.

Cyclists will race in a dozen categorized races, including youth and military veterans. Participants will compete for what is billed as one of the top purses in the country: $45,000 in cash prizes and primes for the professional men’s and women’s races.

Nine-time Tour de France finisher and two-time Olympian Frankie Andreu, a Dearborn native, will be the announcer for the USA Cycling-sanctioned race, which will feature nationally recognized cyclists.

Lead sponsors of the race include Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co., The Suburban Collection and Cooper Standard.

DAC officials declined to disclose how much it cost to organize the event.

“We are pleased to be taking the DAC’s history of sports leadership and traditions to a new level with this event,” President Pat O’Keefe said in a statement. “The Detroit Cycling Championship will bring world-class cycling to our local community and offer fun for everyone. It will be an action-packed sports weekend in Detroit.”

Athletic Director Rob Barr expects more than 300 riders to participate in the races: 75 in the men’s pro race, 40 in the women’s pro race and more than 125 in the kids race. The contests will begin with a free DAC Cycling Club Race at 7:30 a.m. and end with the Men’s Pro Category 1 & 2 race at 5:40 p.m. Race fees vary from $25 to $65.

The track, just less than a mile, starts at Witherell Street and goes around Comerica Park and past the DAC.“We believe in the next couple years we’ll be able to get the word out enough that this will be an exciting event to come to,” Barr said. “At that point in time we’re expecting anywhere from 500 to 600 riders to participate.”

The Detroit Police Athletic League will work with the DAC Foundation and Detroit Cycling Championship to collect and distribute 130 new and gently used bicycles to children in the city. Starting Aug. 18 through Sept. 5, individuals and companies can donate bikes to the DAC Kids in Detroit program

“This is an opportunity for us to be inspired by the athleticism by the people who will be competing in this event,” said Jill Ford, head of innovation and entrepreneurship for the city of Detroit. “It’s so important for our young people to have the opportunity to see people not just doing their best, but redefining their best and pushing their limits and finding how far they can go in their competitive efforts.”

A Healthy Living Expo will also take place in Grand Circus Park, which will offer bike safety sessions, health coaches and vendors, among other things.

Detroit-based Atwater Brewery will sponsor the Food Truck Alley and Beer Garden, which will include National Coney Island, Hot Taco and Tim Hortons along Adams Avenue.

For more information and to register, visit detroitcycling.com.

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