Wauwatosa will host the final round of bike races for the Tour of America's Dairyland Sunday, June 29.
Organizers expect the East Tosa Gran Prix to draw more than 20,000 spectators, after seeing more than 15,000 last year in its inaugural run.
"People know what it's about this year," said Josh Fulfer with the East Tosa Alliance. "When I heard about it at first I was like, 'How cool could that possibly be?' But after seeing how successful it was, the positive feedback we got was terrific."
The Tour of America's Dairyland is billed as the largest competitive cycling event in the country. In 11 days, it holds races in several Wisconsin cities, starting in Shorewood and ending in East Tosa.
The races, which run from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., start and end at North Avenue and 72nd Street. Cyclists will bike west to Lefeber Avenue, north to Meinacke Avenue, east to 69th Street, south to North Avenue, and back to 72nd Street. Roads covered by the course will be shut down for the day.
The final stretch of the race climbs a gradual hill through the East Tosa business district. Fulfer said he hopes this provides a draw to an area that has recently attracted new businesses like Camp Bar, BelAir Cantina, Juniper61, Hue, Thai-namite and Café Blue.
"Vendors and stores love it because it brings so many people to the neighborhood," Fulfer said. "That part of North Avenue is key to the neighborhood and when it grows it helps the whole neighborhood."
In addition to the professional and amateur races for adult men and women, the event offers a kids' race at 5:20 p.m. There will also be a play area with a bounce house.
Local vendors will be on hand from sponsors like Bel Air Cantina, Red Dot and Red Baby Bakery. Pete and the Hot Mess will be providing live music, new this year, from 1 to 5 p.m. near the starting line.
"There's so much to do," Fulfer said. "Whatever notions you might have about a bike race, your ideas will be exceeded."
To register for the kids' race or find more information, visit easttosa.org.
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