Tour of Washington County's Bike Race Set to Start

HAGERSTOWNMD - Officials say Hagerstown's art and entertainment district will be booming Friday night with people and endless activities.  

It's that time of year again when the celebratory kick off takes place for the Tour of Washington County's bike race.

"There are hundreds of cyclists coming from all over the world who will be spending their money here, staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants. Several of those restaurants who are sponsors of this event," says Mark Monnett, mid-atlantic manager for SRAM and sponsor.

But this is not just a competition known for its elite cyclists and tough trails, officials say it's also a chance for the community to come together and enjoy the best our area has to offer.

"Well the greatest thing about this event is that we have a low amount of impact on traffic but at the same time there is no cost for spectators. This is an event that will come right past your front door, so if you don't want to come to downtown Hagerstown, but you live along the race route, all you really need to do is come out to your front porch," says Joseph Jefferson, race director.

With close to 20 business sponsors and more than 500 race participants coming to our city from all over the world, the county has the potential to see an additional six figures this weekend alone.

Officials say the money will all go toward community improvement and investing in future tourism.  

"It's community friendly because we are going to have HUB City Cycle and Fitness assisting with a bicycle safety and helmet inspection and a free helmet giveaway.  So for those fans and people who have younger children who don't have helmets, they can come to downtown Hagerstown tonight and get a free helmet," says Jefferson.

The series of races will begin in Smithsburg Saturday morning and a steep $5,000 grand prize will go to this year's champion. Jefferson says he hopes everyone will come out to the bike parade Friday night and catch a glimpse of the future stars of competitive cycling in action. 

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