The word is that the Tour de Winghaven may be looking for a new home. Their first choice? The Grove. Exactly what is the Tour de Winghaven? It’s a USA Cycling National Racing Calendar event. And what’s THAT? The best analogy may be that the NRC is to the Tour de France as US Major League Soccer is to the Premier League – a professional league one step below the best.
There are 17 events that compose the national cycling “season” and while there are many other races across the country, these are the big ones. With the Gateway Cup and now three years of the Tour of Missouri, St. Louis certainly has experience putting on big events. The professional race would be complemented by amateur racing throughout the day along with other festivities. The race organizers have an excellent record in engaging local businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
This would be a huge event for The Grove and the City of St. Louis. Several hundred riders and support staff would be in town along with hundreds more amateur racers. This means occupied hotel rooms, busy restaurants, etc. These types of events can help identify a neighborhood and this event in particular would be a very positive, family-oriented event that would complement the relative debauchery of Grovefest.
The reason for the possible move? An urban setting provides a much better venue for cycling. It’s easier to get to, the crowds are larger, fans and cyclists have places to eat, places to stay and the scene is simply more attractive. Needless to say that this sites doesn’t believe that Winghaven shows off St. Louis’ best side. We say, welcome to The Grove!
A possible route is highlighted in blue below with alternative sections in red. Plans for this national event need to be confirmed several months in advance of the June 13 event so we should know more before February.
View Tour de Grove – NRC in a larger map