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El Tour de Tucson opens with Dedication Dinner

Posted at 10:24 PM, Nov 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-19 00:24:19-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - "Your path, your story" is the theme of Saturday's 33rd annual El Tour de Tucson.

The story began on Wednesday night with a dedication dinner at Casino Del Sol, where racers, fundraisers, and supporters gathered.

"It's kind of like a reunion for me to see some of my old cycling fellows," 1984 Olympian Nelson Vails said.

Last year's event was dedicated to Brendan Lyons, a firefighter and bicycle accident survivor who now works with Look! Save a Life.
"It's a huge economic benefit for Tucson, and even though it may temporarily paralyze the city it's tremendous," Lyons said.
If everyone has a story, none has been as documented as this year's honorary recipients congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly. 
Giffords will ride the 40-mile race on Saturday, which is a step up from the 11-miles she completed last year. 
"It was a phenomenal opportunity to see her get back on a bike and start riding again," Lyons added.
Tonight's presenter is 3-time Tour De France champion Greg LeMond, who was the honorary recipient in 2000. LeMond will ride in the 40-mile race on Saturday and compete in El Tour de Tucson for the first time since 2010.