GWCVB Press Release Header Lyn Lewis
Twitter: @LynLewisGWCVB
100 West 10th Street, Suite 20
Wilmington, DE 19801
P: 302-295-2212
F: 302-652-4726
For Immediate Release
Grand Prix Bike Weekend Returns to Wilmington, DE on May 17-19

U.S. Cycling Association has designated the Wilmington Grand Prix one of the country's top ten criterium races.  This Tier One cycling competition is celebrating its seventh anniversary and is slated to return to Wilmington on May 17-19.  The Grand Prix has become much more than a bike race; it's a weekend celebration which includes time trials, tailgating, bike parade, street festival and both amateur and professional races and an Awards Ceremony followed by the Governor's Ride and Gran Fondo on Sunday.

The action starts Friday afternoon at 4:30 with a tailgate party and time trials in Brandywine Park. Excitement builds as cyclists race against the clock with 30-second interval starts over a 3.2-mile course made famous by the Tour DuPont.  A bike parade in Downtown Wilmington signals the start of Saturday's activities which include a six-block street festival complete with BMX stunt shows, slides, moon bounces, obstacle course, rock wall and course-side cafés.

The Wilmington Grand Prix is staged in Downtown Wilmington over a one-mile figure eight criterium with multiple sprints and a Start/Finish line at the 800 block on Market Street in front of the Grand Opera House.  A criterium race is a bike race over a closed course of public roads with a specified number of laps. Announcer Joe Jefferson, who does bike races all over the country, describes the Wilmington course as "...small and compact with breakneck speed...The great thing about criterium racing is that the course is such a challenge.  Being in the top two rows can make or break your race.  The race is so tough." Amateur races on the official Grand Prix course precede the Women's Pro and Men's Pro Races which typically attract a crowd of 20,000.  According to Jefferson, "It's a big stage.  To have this race so well received brings out your ‘A' game.  There are epic performances!

Both amateurs and professionals are encouraged to participate in Sunday's Governor's Ride and Gran Fondo.  Spectacular 15-, 30- and 62-mile rides are mapped out through the beautiful Brandywine countryside.  Rest stops are strategically positioned along the routes and the cyclists are encouraged to proceed at their own pace.  All three rides begin and end at the Delaware Art Museum where the Finish Line Party is held from 10AM-2PM with a full complement of food and entertainment.  More information is available at www.WilmingtonGrandPrix or

The Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau is a non-profit organization founded in 1978, chartered by the Governor of Delaware, the New Castle County Executive and the Mayor of Wilmington. Its mission is to serve as the community's customer-focused destination marketing organization, generating economic growth through leisure travel and meetings development by aggressively marketing attractions, facilities, amenities and services for visitors.