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posted: 7/6/2012 5:00 PM

International bike race comes to Geneva Sunday

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  • Smart Cycling's Meghan Lapeta of Downers Grove takes first in the women's category 3/4 race during last year's Geneva Cycling Grand Prix.

      Smart Cycling's Meghan Lapeta of Downers Grove takes first in the women's category 3/4 race during last year's Geneva Cycling Grand Prix.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

Bicyclists will zoom at speeds up to 40 mph on Third Street in Geneva Sunday, and instead of waving an angry fist at them, you are encouraged to cheer.

The Mill Race Cyclery Classic will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are eight races, including kids' races at 5:30 p.m. The professional race, 90 kilometers, starts at 6 p.m. The other adult races are 20 to 30 miles.

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Cyclists will circle around and around a .8-mile course on State Street, South Third Street, Fulton Street, Fifth Street, South Street and Sixth Street.

The race was moved back to Third Street this year, after a year using Fourth Street and Seventh Street on a Saturday.

Organizers and city officials preferred the race bring cyclists, their supporters and spectators to the broad shopping boulevard that defines downtown Geneva, rather than the more-residential Fourth Street. They did so over the complaints of some Third Street merchants. They say the street closure will keep shoppers away, and that previous races did not bring hordes of shoppers in to their stores and restaurants. There were also concerns about the effect on people attending church services Sunday morning at Geneva Lutheran Church at Third and Franklin streets, and St. Mark Episcopal on Franklin just west of Third.

Car and pedestrian traffic may be allowed to move about during gaps in the races.

The race is part of the Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic Superweek Pro Tour July 6 to 22. Friday, races were conducted in Chicago, and planned for Saturday in Wood Dale. On Monday, races will be held in Richton Park.

The International Cycling Classic started in Milwaukee in 1969, and now includes towns from northern Wisconsin to the Chicago's South suburbs. Race officials expect 500 to 700 cyclists.

For more information about the race, visit internationalcycling.com.

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