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Missouri Professional Cycling Series
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 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 acclaimed St. Louis LOOP, Saturday May 12, The Tour de Grove in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood and the Dutchtown Classic in South St. Louis on Sunday, May 13th.
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.
New for 2012, the Saturday 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 US Handcycling Series.
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.
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 cyclist 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.
Sunday, May 13, 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 US Handcycling event.