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Downers Grove bicycle race to return in July

Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 4:30 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, June 7, 2014 7:45 p.m. CDT

DOWNERS GROVE – The criterium bicycle course in Downers Grove is planned to return for the first time in five years as the culminating event of the Intelligentsia Cup Prairie State Cycling Series.

"Widely regarded across the U.S. professional ranks as one of the best criterium courses, the venue was the site of the U.S. Professional Criterium Championships for 23 years until 2009," according to a press release. "The addition of Downers Grove to the Intelligentsia Cup will make for a fitting finale to the Prairie State Cycling Series. The unique pinched-eight course design offers variety, including six left turns and two right turns to keep racers on their toes."

The start/finish line is located on an uphill portion of Main Street, making for a challenging sprint.

“We are currently working with our partners in Downers Grove to include them in our series and to bring back one of the hallmarks of American criterium racing,” said Prairie State Cycling Series partner Tom Schuler, himself a former US national cycling champion.

"For those cyclists that were lucky enough to race the course previously they will remember it as one of the most exhilarating and challenging criterium courses that exists in the whole country. And this will make for a fitting conclusion to eight days of challenging racing.”

The original course was designed by two-time Olympian and U.S. Bicycle Hall of Fame inductee, as well as Chicagoland-native, John Vande Velde.

The entire series runs July 18-27 and features category racing from beginning racers to seasoned elite amateurs, culminating at the end of each day with the featured professional men’s and women’s races.

Each venue will have a variety of food and drink to enjoy with the racing action and also feature its own local event, ranging from kids races to family fun rides, making for a great family activity for the summer.

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