More than 200 children and 500 adults competed today in the Tour de Murrieta.
With nearly ideal weather in Downtown Murrieta Saturday, approximately 500 bicycle racers competed in eight categories of various distances over a one-mile loop.
Additionally, 213 children -- 12 and under -- competed in races of their own with distances between 100 yards for the youngest to one mile for the older children. The kids’ races were sponsored by Pacific Western Bank and all young racers received medals for their participation.
Hundreds of spectators lined the Grand Prix criterium course, sponsored by Jax Bicycles. At a Tour de Murrieta Expo in the Senior Center’s parking lot, dozens of vendors displayed their wares while others sold food and drinks.
Kid-friendly activities were also available.
Friday, racers competed in a four-mile time trial where pro racer Devan Dunn (Cash Call Cycling Team) posted the fastest time and is currently the Omnium General Classification leader in the Pro 1, 2 race.
Robert Stotts (H&S Bicycles Team) was the winner of Saturday’s first race, the Men’s Category 5, 30-minute race.
Scott Cohen (LUX Pro Development Team) won the second race, the Men’s Category 4, 40-minute race.
Kendall Ryan (UCI WPT: TIBCO to The Top Team) won her first race of 2012 by taking the Elite Women’s Category 1-3, 50-minute race.
Ryan, 19, has been racing competitively for ten years. She had the opportunity to compete in Europe in 2010 and went pro last year.
She finished tenth in that race. One member of her team got third at worlds and Ryan contributed strategically in her placing.
Alex Darville (Hammer Nutrition/CMG Racing Team) came in first place in the Men’s Category 2, 55-minute race.
The Santa Barbara native is 17 years old and recently graduated from high school.
A three-year racer, Darville competed last year in the Junior World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Tour de Murrieta Grand Prix course has six turns.
Following the kids' races, the Pro Men 1 race was run. The winner of the 75-minute race was Stefano Barberi (CashCall Mortgage Team).
Next up was the Masters 35+ Category 1-4 50-minute race. It was won by James Paolinetti (Monster Media Racing SCVELO Team).
There were several minor race accidents Saturday.
Kimberly Tom (Dude Girl/Cycles Brixton Team) was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries from her fall during the third lap of the Elite Women’s Category 1-3 race.
There was no immediate word on her injuries but according to published reports, she was to be released today.
Today, many of these same cyclists will participate in a 3.5-mile circuit race. Spectators can refer to the attached document for a view of the route.
For the first time in the event’s history, the Tour de Murrieta is the first of six race qualifiers for the 2012 Nature Valley Pro Chase competition.
The top male and female amateur racers will be selected to join the Nature Valley Cycling Team for their 2012 racing schedule.
Aaron Goodale lives in Murrieta and is this year’s Tour de Murrieta race director.
“So far everything’s going great,” said Goodale.
Goodale said he sees the Tour as a bonus for the community with regard to dollars spent by visiting cyclists and their families in local businesses.
At least 20 local and regional sponsors actively assist in the success of the Tour de Murrieta.
“The City of Murrieta loves this race and we get great support from them,” he said.
One 12-year-old racer competed in the Elite Women’s category. Courtney Comer (ACQUA AL2/San Diego Bicycle Club Team) was last year’s 12-and-under national champion in bicycle racing. Courtney told Patch she has been racing since she was four.
Saturday’s was about the thirtieth race she’s competed in this year, the tween rider said.
Ryan Comer, formerly a cycling racer himself, said his daughter has won “three state mountain biking championships, two national prestige series mountain bike championships, the 2011 national road championship as well as the 2011 national time trial championship.”
According to the race organizer’s website, a specially designed crystal trophy will be awarded in each category to the team having the highest placed five riders within the top 30 of the final General Classification.
This award is named the Jorge Alvarado Team Competition award in honor of a southern California racer who was killed while in training two years ago.
For more information on that, please cick here.
Following Sunday’s circuit races, trophies and purses up to $4,350 will be awarded to the racers with the best performances during the three-day event.