Cyclists descend on Delaware for Wilmington Grand Prix [video]

Hundreds of cyclists are expected in Wilmington this weekend for what’s being billed as the city’s largest downtown street festival.

The first cyclists rolled through city streets for a mini-preview ride Thursday afternoon before the festivities really get underway this weekend.  

First up Friday night is the Monkey Hill Time Trial.  Starting at 4 p.m., 300 riders are expected to trace the course that used to make up the Tour DuPont race, which was held years ago in Wilmington.  Riders will try to beat the clock as they make their way along the cobblestones of Monkey Hill.  An outdoor barbecue will be held at Brandywine Park.

On Saturday, racing on the downtown Wilmington figure eight course gets underway at 8 a.m. with events for riders of various skill levels.  Saturday’s schedule culminates with the Wilmington Grand Prix professional riders race at 4 p.m.  The 35 mile race will include elite riders on both the national and international levels.  

On Sunday, up to 2,000 riders will take part in the Gran Fondo, a 62 mile ride (or 100 km) that starts at 8 a.m. at the Delaware Art Museum.  There is also a Medio Fondo event that is 35 miles long (or 50 km).  Also starting at 8 a.m. on Sunday is the 3rd Annual Governor’s Ride.  Governor Jack Markell will join other prominent figures in the state on a 15 mile course past some of the areas cultural attractions.

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