The Delaware Sports Commission is thrilled to announce an exciting change for the tenth year of the Wilmington Grand Prix. This year’s race will be the eighth stop on USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour. The event is slated for May 13-15. Bank of America is the presenting sponsor.
“USA Cycling is happy to have the Wilmington Grand Prix on our new USA Cycling Professional Road Tour,” said Micah Rice, vice president of national events for USAC. “Pro racers from around the country have been making the stop in Wilmington for a decade and have enjoyed this technical, eight-corner urban criterium.”
Laura Van Gilder is returning as race director. She will also be racing. Van Gilder is a two-time Wilmington Grand Prix winner and one of the most successful competitors on the U.S. road racing circuit. She was the national criterium champion in 2000 and has amassed more than 400 victories during her 26-year career. Van Gilder has been the top female racer in USA Cycling’s National Race Calendar twice and a top-five individual finisher on the NRC five times. She has also won the individual title in the USACrits series twice.
“The Wilmington Grand Prix is one of my favorite criterium events of the racing season,” says Van Gilder. “I have been a participant every year since its inception and last year [as race director] offered me a unique race-side experience with the community and riders. Wilmington continues to welcome cyclists while offering an exciting weekend cycling experience that is friendly, challenging, and fulfilling.”
USA Cycling’s (USAC) Pro Road Tour (PRT) is comprised of the top road races in the country and features racers competing for the PRT points championship in team and individual categories. Out of more than 2,500 sanctioned road races that occur annually across America, this year USAC named just 26 races in 19 states to the PRT. The tour opens April 2 in Aniniston, AL and concludes Sept. 17 in Boston, MA.
“We are proud the Grand Prix continues to be considered one of the elite races in the country,” said Chris Giacomucci, Executive Director of the Delaware Sports Commission. “This race is a showcase for the city of Wilmington and a signature event for the state of Delaware.”
The action starts Friday night (May 13) with the Monkey Hill Time Trial, a 3.2-mile race against the clock through Wilmington’s Brandywine Park. Saturday (May 14) will feature four amateur races in the morning, culminating with the Women’s Pro and Men’s Pro races in the afternoon. Sunday (May 15) will see the return of the Sixth Annual Governor’s Ride and the Fifth Annual Delaware Gran Fondo presented by Capital One. Last year’s Gran Fondo attracted cyclists from 17 states, including Illinois, Wisconsin and Colorado, by offering them a scenic tour through the Brandywine Valley and some of Delaware’s best-known attractions.
“We’ve made a commitment to invest in making Delaware a more bike-friendly state,” said Governor Jack Markell. “The Wilmington Grand Prix is an exceptional opportunity to showcase our efforts.”
Since 2012 the event has generated more than $2.5 million in economic impact for the local economy. Last year 838 competitive cyclists from 33 states and 13 counties took part.
“Marquee events like the Grand Prix help drive economic development for Wilmington by drawing thousands of dedicated fans and spectators to the market,” said Chip Rossi, Bank of America Delaware Market President. “We know that when we invest in events that help our community succeed, we help make people’s financial lives better.”
“We always look forward to hosting the cyclists, inviting families, neighbors and visitors to our beautiful city for the weekend,” says Mayor Dennis P. Williams. “We are proud of the success that the Wilmington Grand Prix has had. We welcome everyone to come see for themselves what Wilmington has to offer.”
The Delaware Sports Commission, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., was established to attract sporting events to Delaware to benefit the sports industry and community and to positively impact Delaware's economy. The DSC also assists with the retention and growth of existing sports events. To date, the DSC has partnered with more than 50 regional and national events, paving the way for larger-scale future events to be held in Delaware. Follow the Delaware Sports Commission on Twitter @Delaware_Sports.
For more information, visit the official Delaware Sports Commission website at www.delawaresports.org or call (302) 672-6832. For more information about the Wilmington Grand Prix visit www.wilmgrandprix.com or call (302) 545-8305.