The largest professional cycling event in the Midwest kicks off at 3:30 p.m. today in low-key fashion with Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson pulling his 18-month-old grandson, Noah, in a wheel cart in the mayor's charity time trial.
But with the Tour of Elk Grove attracting a higher caliber of professional rider every year, the competition will quickly ramp up later in the afternoon with the men's and women's time trials, the first of the three-stage professional competition that will wrap up Sunday afternoon.
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The eighth annual event features 12 professional and amateur races, $66,000 in prize money, and eight women's and nine men's professional teams.
The start/finish line for races, viewing areas, a sports/food/merchant expo and kids' playground area all are at the intersection of Elk Grove Boulevard and Ridge Avenue.
From 7 to 10 p.m. today and Saturday, the village is throwing a community block party with live music, food, fireworks and a meet-and-greet with riders. Classic rock tribute band 97 Nine will perform tonight, and Rock Candy will perform Saturday. Admission is free.
More information on the weekend's activities is at dailyherald.com and tourofelkgrove.com.