Jeramey Jannene

Bike Races Return to Milwaukee This Week

Tour of America's Dairyland will have professional riders hitting high speed on city streets.

By - Jun 17th, 2024 02:23 pm
The men's professional race at the 2023 Bay View Classic. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The men’s professional race at the 2023 Bay View Classic. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

It’s time to break out your cowbells.

The fast-paced Tour of America’s Dairyland bicycle racing series returns to Milwaukee this week. The 11-day-long series features fan-friendly racing, culminating each evening in professional riders hitting speeds of approximately 35 miles per hour on short loops through city streets.

The series formally enters Milwaukee on Thursday with the return of the Centraal Bay View Classic and Saturday with the 45th annual Cafe Hollander Otto Wentz Downer Classic. Many of the other days take place in nearby suburbs, including Shorewood and Wauwatosa.

Bicyclists compete in timed races, completing lap after lap on city streets. An announcer keeps the crowd informed on what’s happening, with pace cars and video display boards also tracking the races. Action picks up not just at the end of the race for the overall winner, but also for single-lap sprints (primes) with cash prizes.

The accompanying street festivals allow spectators to lean on the course walls and cheer on the racers, or sit back in a chair and enjoy a snack and beer.

All of the races are free to attend, with larger crowds forming later in the day for the professional races. The action concludes around 8 p.m. each day, with racers recovering at the homes of host families.

A community hour is held each day, allowing children to give it their all, even if that includes training wheels, or adults to ride at their leisure. The Downer Avenue and Shorewood races include the “Dairyland Mile,” a one-mile sprint for runners.

Sponsored by Kwik Trip, daily events begin with amateur riders and progress to 75-minute women’s and men’s pro races.

More information, including a full schedule for each day, is available on the Tour of America’s Dairyland website.

Remaining 2024 Schedule

  • Monday, June 17 – De Pere
  • Tuesday, June 18 – Cedarburg
  • Wednesday, June 19 – Mount Pleasant
  • Thursday, June 20 – Bay View
  • Friday, June 21 – Shorewood
  • Saturday, June 22 – Downer Avenue
  • Sunday, June 23 – Wauwatosa Village

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