El Tour brings thousands to Tucson
Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - El Tour takes over Tucson -- quite literally shutting down some of the town's major streets and intersections. In it's thirtieth year, El Tour has gained global celebrity, attracting riders from all over the globe. But for some, the notoriety of the name is not what brings them to Tucson.
"I love it and it's a way for me to do something with my dad. He's going to be doing one of the shorter races so I'm going to stop and wait for him at the 60-mile," El tour de Tucson cyclist Tim Huber told 9OYS.
Like Huber, each rider has their own story; motivating and propelling the pedals -- some are cycling for a cause.
"One of my best friends I grew up with, his son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes two years ago. So, we're all out here riding together and trying to find money for a cure," Ohio cyclist, Dan Hrkalovich said.
Lisa Donneson flew into Tucson from storm ravaged Brooklyn, New York. Saturday marked her seventh consecutive El Tour.
"I'm aiming for six hours. It's going to be tough, but I'm going to try my best," Donneson said while standing next to her husband and fellow El tour rider.
And you can't forget the all important spectators, cheering from the curb.
"it's fantastic, we were talking about whether we wanted to do it," Tucson resident Chris Rogers said. Rogers and his son Jack biked to the starting race, eager to see the cyclists take to the streets.
it's very exciting how many people are cheering for other people, so many groups are riding together," Jack Rogers added.
Organizers estimate 8,700 registered riders took part in this year's El Tour de Tucson. The number is slightly above last year's, but it is not a record. The largest number was recorded in 2007, with a whopping 9,122 registered riders.