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Posted: 10:40 a.m. Thursday, July 11, 2013

Circuit of Americas to host bike ride 

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Circuit of the Americas to host bike ride
Cyclists can pedal around the Circuit of the Americas during a public bike ride on Aug. 31.

By Pam LeBlanc

Just before the Circuit of the Americas opened last year, a couple hundred runners sprinted down the 3.4-mile track at the facility’s first official event - a 5K footrace.

Later this summer, cyclists will get their chance.

The first day of the three-day Tour of Austin will include a public ride at the Formula 1 race track. It’ll be the first official bicycling event at the facility, best known for revving engines and buzzing race cars.

Cyclists can choose from two options.

During the 3-hour Americas Challenge, which starts at 8 a.m. Aug. 31, cyclists can pedal as fast or slow as they want for as many laps as they want around the twisty course, which features 20 turns. They’ll even get to zip into pit lane to fuel up with snacks and cold water. Cost is $65 and includes a T-shirt.

Cyclists who just want to make one loop can sign up for The Lap, and hit the track at 11 a.m. Cost is $25.

Prices increase Aug. 1.

Organizers say they’re hosting the ride to remind people about the benefits of cycling. Who wouldn’t want to see how fast they could ride on a track that hosts the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix?

“Cycling is a huge part of Austin’s culture, and this event reminds everyone about the importance of health, fitness and the need to explore alternate modes of transportation for work and play,” Steve Sexton, president of Circuit of the Americas, said in a press release.

Criterium racing for the Tour of Austin will begin after the open bike ride, with age group, junior and pro racing starting at noon Aug. 31 at Circuit of the Americas. Admission is free for spectators.

Racing will continue Sept. 1 and 2 at Driveway Austin Motorsports Academy.

The three-day Tour of Austin, produced by Austin-based Holland Racing, is expected to draw pro cyclists and former Olympians. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Kelly Davidson Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

To register for the Tour or the public bicycle ride, go to www.thetourofaustin.com .

Pam LeBlanc

About Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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