El Tour de Tucson to Feature Big Names, Big Party

Some of bicycling’s big names – past and present – are expected to participate and ride in the Banner – University Medicine 39th El Tour de Tucson this weekend. They will join more than 7,500 cyclists on roadways on Saturday.

Pima JTED is the ride’s primary beneficiary.

El Tour de Tucson returns to the newly renovated TCC for its start and finish this year. The new area will allow for more space and more fun. There will be more than 80 food/merchandise vendors, 14 sponsors and 30 non-profit partners at the TCC. Through the years, El Tour de Tucson has helped raise more than $100 million for charities.

“With the popularity of cycling and Tucson being one of the United States cycling hotspots, we wanted to give cyclists what they deserve – a bigger, better venue for what we consider one of the best cycling events in the country,” said TJ Juskiewicz, executive director of El Tour. “No other El Tour has had the quality names coming in to visit and ride.”

More than 7,500 cyclists – at least one from every state – are expected to ride in one of the four rides: 102-mile, 63-mile or 32-mile. More than 800 children (and some parents) are expected to ride in the Fun Ride (10 miles, 5 miles, 1 mile).

For the first time in El Tour, a Prologue with an all-star lineup is scheduled. The event is sold out with cyclists joining former Olympian cyclists (Mari Holden, Bobby Julich, George Hincapi) and world and national champions (Kristin Armstrong, Rashaan Bahati) and Tour de France stage winners (Jens Voigt).

“The Prologue has never been done in El Tour, so we’ve excited to have some of the big names in town to show off our weather and the atmosphere at El Tour,” Juskiewicz said. “Many have trained here in the past, so they’re excited to return to help train others and ride in El Tour.”

Packet pickup begins at noon Thursday and Friday and ends at 9 p.m. 

There will be music each day beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday (Ritmo de Sanchez), Friday (Gigi & The Glow) and Saturday at noon (Heart & Soul). 

All the festivities – except the cycling – is free to the public. Come for the food and entertainment and visit with the non-profits and sponsors.

The 39th El Tour de Tucson, Arizona’s largest cycling event and one biggest cycling events in the United States, is produced and directed by Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc. and is scheduled for Nov. 19. Cyclists of all ages and abilities may ride 102, 63 or 32 miles or a Fun Ride of 10, 5 or 1 miles.

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