National and International Professional Cycling returns to Missouri this May with the Missouri Professional Cycling Series (MO PRO).
Featuring three days of racing in three historic neighborhoods across and the City of St. Louis, the Missouri Professional Cycling Series is comprised of three events:
- Friday evening May 11 — The LOOP de LOOP Grand Prix in the acclaimed Delmar Loop
- Saturday, May 12 — The Tour de Grove in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood
- Sunday, May 13 — The Dutchtown Classic in South St. Louis
The Missouri Professional Cycling Series features the Tour de Grove, which is one of only 19 USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) professional cycling races in the United States. The NCC 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.
“The Tour of Missouri Professional Cycling Race created a healthy appetite for the top level of professional cycling in our state," said Mike Weiss, race director and former Tour of Missouri Professional Cycling Race Board President. "The Missouri Professional Cycling Series is bringing back many of the same teams and athletes. It’s an Olympic year and internationally sanctioned which will elevate the intensity of the competition — it will be a show.”
New for 2012, the May 12 Tour de Grove has been given a significantly higher event ranking by the governing body for cycling internationally, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Formerly a UCI 1.4 event, the new ranking (UCI 1.2) dramatically increases the stature and importance of the race to professional teams.
Both the Tour de Grove and the Dutchtown Classic are 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 US Paralympic hand cycling races as part of the 2012 U.S. Handcycling Series.
LOOP de LOOP
Beginning Friday evening, May 11, under the lights, the LOOP de LOOP Grand Prix will light up the streets of one of the region’s best shopping, dining and entertainment districts. The neighborhood will come alive with outdoor expos, dining and children’s races.
Streets will begin to be shut down around 2 p.m. that Friday in order to set up grandstands and mark the course. More information about street closings will be available closer to the race date.
Tour de Grove
The NCC and USA Crits Tour de Grove race will be held Saturday, May 12. The course will be a 1.7 mile spectator friendly, winding circuit through the Grove neighborhood with a sprint finish along Manchester Avenue in front of 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 begins with the Tour de Grove 5K run and a recreational ride organized by TRAILNET. The racing will be underway late morning with an undercard of amateur races, increasing in ability as the day progresses. The men’s and women’s professional races will be preceded by children’s races and a US Paralympic Hand Cycling event.
Viewing parties, a community Expo and neighborhood activities will be set up around the course. Following the races, cyclists will return for an evening Street Sprints competition and an audience participation cruiser Drag Race.
Adjacent to the race in The Grove will be a travelling national cycling poster show (ARTCRANK) at the Handlebar and Atomic Cowboy restaurant and bar running May 10-13.
On Sunday, May 15, 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 U.S. 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.
Riders and teams committing to compete in the Missouri Professional Cycling Series will be announced as the event draws near.
All events are free for spectators. For more information, visit www.moprocycling.com
The Missouri Professional Cycling Series is sponsored by Emerson Corporation, ABInbev-Michelob Ultra, Medical Center and Big Shark Bicycle Company.