VILLA PARK – Cyclists will descend on Villa Park next weekend for the annual Grand Prix Bicycle Race, and Villa Park Police Deputy Chief Bob Budig has some advice for residents: set out the lawn chairs, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy watching the competitors wiz by.
"These bikers amaze me," said Budig, who is working with the organizers to coordinate the race, which has been held in the village for the past two years. "They will be traveling anywhere from 20 to 30 mph; they crash, roll over and get up and go – they want to win."
Both professional and amateur cyclists from across the Midwest are expected to compete in the race, set to begin at 8 a.m. Aug. 10 at Park Boulevard and Yale Avenue. The event is sponsored by RDS Cycling Team and Club, a member of the United States Cycling Development Foundation.
Throughout the day, the cyclists will be divided into races depending on their age, gender and skill level. The skill level will dictate how many laps the riders will complete, Budig said.
The event drew about 250 rides last year, and numbers are expected to be comparable this year.
This is the third consecutive year Villa Park has hosted the grand prix, although RDS Cycling also hosted a similar event in town several years ago.
The race is free for spectators, who typically bring chairs out to watch the race, and some homeowners along the course set up viewing tents on their front lawns, Budig said.
"They can watch anywhere along the route," he said.
The police department is responsible for closing roads, and members of the Villa Park Fire Department will also be on site. Food vendors, entertainment and a course announcer will be located near the starting line.
Racers will ride in a clockwise loop along Park Boulevard, Princeton Avenue, Washington Street and Harvard Avenue.
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If you go
WHAT: Grand Prix Bicycle Race
WHEN: Races start at 8 a.m. Aug. 10
WHERE: Starting line is at Park Boulevard and Yale Avenue; race runs clockwise on Park, Princeton Avenue, Washington Street and Harvard Avenue
COST: Free for spectators
INFO: Contact the Villa Park Police Department at 630-834-7447 or at firstname.lastname@example.org