By Alex Fees
St. Louis (KSDK) - The bicycle race formally known as Tour De Grove got underway as a three-day event Friday night on the Delmar Loop in University City.
Tour de Grove is now the Missouri Professional Cycling Series, or Mo Pro for short. And Tour de Grove only describes the location of the event Saturday. Sunday, it wraps up in south St. Louis at the Dutchtown Classic Criterium.
The main event of the Missouri Professional Cycling Series and the highest paying single-day race in Missouri takes place in one of the fastest growing communities in Missouri on May 12th, 2012. The only race in the region on the prestigious USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) and the USA Crit Championship Series, The Tour de Grove is a free full day of family events featuring competitive races for all levels of USAC-licensed racers including US Hand Cyclists, a 5K run, Children's Events and a Grove Expo.
New for 2012 was the LOOP de LOOP Grand Prix Criterium on Friday, May 11th in the nearby St. Louis Delmar LOOP neighborhood. Returning for 2012 will be the Saturday Night Street Sprint Competition and the ARTCRANK cycling poster show in The Grove.
To round out the action- Sunday, May 13th, the racing resumes for another full day of action at the South St. Louis Dutchtown Classic Criterium. This means three days of great racing and activities with Saturday's Tour de Grove race being the premier event.
The NRC Tour de Grove starts early in the morning and finishes late afternoon with the two main events - the men's and women's Professional/Elite races. The streets will be lined with families from across the region and country, all enjoying the spectacular Tour de Grove.
The Tour de Grove (formerly The Tour de WingHaven) began as the highest paying race in the Midwest and over a four-year period successfully was added to the North American professional cycling calendar.
Previous winners have included Pan-American Gold Medalist Daniel Halloway, former St. Louis native and professional Dan Schmatz and top US Professional Bronze Medalist Andrew Bajadali.
For more information, check out their website: tourdegrove.com.