The thousands of dollars that were on the line for professional bike racers who competed in the first Old Pueblo Grand Prix in downtown on Sunday brought several big names to Tucson.
The big-name racers brought large crowds to downtown to watch the event and visit the restaurants and bars along the course.
Phoenix racer Eric Marcotte, 31, out-sprinted Hector Rangel, of Coahualia, Mexico for the win in the men’s race. Kristin Sanders, 39, from Florida, easily won the women’s race on a solo break away.
Race organizer and owner of Fit Works Kurt Rosenquist said he was happy with the event and the turnout of racers.
According to Rosenquist, the $20,000 prize purse is the best in Arizona and one of the best purses in the country for one-day criterium races.
He said the crowd of spectators was building all day. Thousands of people lined Church Avenue to watch the men’s finish.
Rosenquist said his goal was to make the race spectator-friendly.
“A lot of rides have a charity element,” Rosenquist said. “We wanted our beneficiary to be downtown Tucson.”
47 Scott owner Travis Reese said business was slow at the beginning of the day, but more and more people were coming in to have drinks and watch the race from the sidewalk.
Overall he said he was happy with the turnout and thought the race was a lot of fun to watch.
Check out the Arizona Daily Star’s story about the race.