GLEN ELLYN – Hundreds of bicyclists will again converge on Lake Ellyn Park in July as part of the Tour of Lake Ellyn.
A local organizing committee is bringing the race back this year. The Tour of Glen Ellyn debuted last year as part of the Intelligentsia Cup, a bike race series that also features races in Elmhurst, Chicago and other communities during the month of July. Glen Ellyn was a new venue for the cup last year.
The announcement about the bike race's return comes after Intent Coaching said it wouldn't be returning as the local promoter for the Tour of Glen Ellyn.
"Our interpretation of last year's event was that it was successful and that we wanted to build upon it," said Glen Ellyn resident Ben Raby, a former professional cyclist and a member of the local organizing committee. "We were able to rally some people together to make this happen for a second year."
Two-time cycling Olympian John Vande Velde, who grew up in Glen Ellyn, designed the course. The first edition of the race was in 1970, and the course was raced under the name the Tour of Lake Ellyn during the 1970s and 1980s.
The race this year – which will be July 15 – will return to the name Tour of Lake Ellyn. This year's Tour of Lake Ellyn will be promoted entirely by local residents, Raby said. The event will be held rain or shine, he said.
"Our goal is to elevate and build upon last year's event, and really include the community in a way that it wasn't last year, and continue to build a good foundation for next year as well," he said.
Village President Alex Demos said he is pleased the race will be returning this year.
“Hosting the Tour of Lake Ellyn for the second year is an incredible opportunity for the village,” Demos said in a statement. “We are excited to once again welcome racers, fans and spectators to the village to enjoy this prestigious event."
Racing will again happen all day long, ranging from amateur and age group categories to the marquee elite and professional men and women races. As part of this year's race, there will be a two-lap Glen Ellyn Community Fun Ride where anyone with a bicycle and helmet are invited to ride the same course as the racers, in between the pro women and pro men events.
Local organizing committee member Jim Burket said he has always had a passion for cycling.
"Sunday mornings were spent with my dad watching the Tour de France which clued me into the sport of cycling,” he said in a statement. "Why not take the opportunity to leverage the great natural course around Lake Ellyn and partnership with the Intelligentsia Cup series to have an international bike race in my backyard?”
How to help
Volunteers are needed to put on the Tour of Lake Ellyn. To volunteer, contact Raby at firstname.lastname@example.org.