The Tour of America’s Dairyland, a series of bike races held over 11 days in different Wisconsin cities, is expected to bring hundreds of cyclists and spectators to downtown Janesville on June 26.
2018 is Janesville’s first year on the tour, which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary, said Bill Koch, executive director of the tour’s host organization, Midwest Cycling Series.
Beloit hosted a day of competition in 2014, and East Troy has in past years, according to the tour’s website.
The full tour schedule for 2018 has not yet been released.
The Janesville Velo Club is the local host for the event, Koch said.
Club President Paul Murphy said he could not share details of the race until a formal announcement is issued.
Murphy has worked on bringing the tour to Janesville for two years, he said. Tour officials look for locations with enthusiasm and solid organizing groups.
The tour will bring about 1,000 people into Janesville, including riders and their support teams, Koch said. He estimates the event will attract 2,500 to 4,000 spectators, many from the Janesville area.
The tour’s most popular location, Downer Avenue in Milwaukee, attracts between 15,000 and 25,000 spectators annually, Koch said. Cyclists have been racing annually on the Milwaukee thoroughfare for 40 years.
“Janesville should aspire to be like Downer,” Koch said.
Races are expected to last from 10:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Koch said. The tour features criterium racing, in which riders race on closed road circuits.
Janesville will host seven to 10 races and a local event determined by the Velo Club, Koch said. Races will be divided by levels of experience.
Cyclists from more than 40 states and 15 countries participate in the tour each year, Murphy said.
Downtown businesses and residents can expect changes to their daily routine the day of the event, Koch said. Those details are still being worked out, Murphy said.
Koch said his organization is “honored” to be welcomed to Janesville.
“It is a very exciting event downtown Janesville hasn’t seen before,” Murphy said.
The tour runs from June 21 to July 1.