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Le Tour de Bowness

Saturday, July 31–Monday, August 2

ROUNDING OUT THIS SUMMER’S ­Bowness festival calendar is Le Tour de Bowness, an annual bicycle stage race hosted by Main Street mainstay and all-round good corporate citizen Bow Cycle.

Racing takes place on the August long weekend, July 31 to August 2, with the last of the three stages finishing up right on Main Street in downtown Bowness on the holiday Monday.

The three-stage race begins on the Saturday evening with a short, 1.25 km hill climbing time trial at Canada Olympic Park. The best vantage point is up near the finish line, so get there early and expect to be out of breath.

On Sunday, racers head out for a road race on a very challenging 5.3 km loop around the Bearspaw Country Club, just off 12 Mile Coulee Road at Crowchild Trail. The  elite categories of racers will do 15 laps, or 80 kilometres.

The last of the three stages is a criterium in which the competitors will race laps around downtown Bowness at breakneck speeds, with the start/finish line right out on Main Street in front of Bow Cycle.

The street takes on a festival atmosphere with crowds in the hundreds cheering for racers who sprint for cash every five laps or so, and loudspeakers blaring out results and encouragement. Add to that the presence of the inevitable bike swag booths and the participation of some of the city’s better radio stations, and we’ve got ourselves a street party.

The fun has just begun when the racing is over. Bowness’s very own The Bownesians take the sidewalk stage outside of Bow Cycle for a live music performance, followed by the awards presentations. Stick around and see what these people look like without their $300 helmets and glasses on.

You might be amazed.

For complete details about Le Tour de Bowness, visit www.tourdebowness.com.

—Story by Michael Cormier

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