The last time you heard of a pro cycling event in Wilmington was probably in the year 1990 and somewhere in the year 1996 this race was permanently shut down after the withdrawal of a big sponsor but thanks to Jerry, co-founder of the race and other sponsors the race was brought back to back to life in 2007 and back to Wilmington this year with a bang. Both the winners Brad White from the United Health Care Pro cycling team and Samantha Schneider of IC corp from the men and women divisions respectively were all smiles in the end.
The number of participants and the overall response gave it the nick name of the American version of the Tour De France. It’s only the 2nd time the race has been held in Wilmington and cyclists from across the globe hit the road.
About 800-900 racers are said to have taken while close to 9000 spectators were present to enjoy not just the race but the live music, mini games and various other activities on an action packed day on the streets of Wilmington.
One of the leading sponsor for the race since the very start has been Bank of America but this year was different. Even the other sponsor came to the fore and did their best to make it a special 3 day event.
The race was flagged on Friday from the Brandywine Zoo and the whole event came to a close on Sunday after a short 15 mile ride by the Governor. The race director Laura, a former winner of the same GP was quite happy with the event and response.
The only concern before the race was the weather but rains held off until the final few laps of the day providing the participants and spectators a clear blue sky otherwise. The spectators seemed quite happy with the inclusion of the race into the USA Cycling Pro Road Tour.
The event gave the locals the perfect reason to get out of their homes and enjoy the warm Saturday afternoon along with friends and family with some tacos and a pint of beer.
DuPhily later in an interview described in details the troubles and hard work put into managing an event this big. Lack sleep etc. are just a few things his team go through.
Yes over the years Wilmington has developed a bad reputation when it comes to safety and while many would refuse coming here we were glad to see the organizers, participants and also the spectators put in the effort and time needed to make the event a successful one and turn it into a weekend to remember for many and hope to see more such events in the near future.
If you attended the event do share your views, images and videos of the day with us. You can comment below or use the contact form.