Have you seen the lamppost banners up all around San Francisco? On Monday, September 1, 2008, from 8:00am to 4:00pm, cyclists from near and far will bust a move at the 34th annual Metromint Giro di San Francisco bicycle race, taking place downtown at Levi Strauss Plaza at Battery and Union Streets. Racers and fans alike are welcome at the event, sponsored by Metromint, Metromint Cycling, Lombardi Sports, Flex Power Performance Sports Cream, Bespoke Handmade Custom Bicycles, and Williams Wheel Systems.
Featuring over 800 amateur and pro racers with over $10,000 in prizes, it is the last race in three separate series: the Cal Cup, the Northern California Women's Racing Series, and the NCNCA premier series.
?The course is such a fun one,? says Laurie Simonson, Metromint Cycling racer and winner of the women?s category 4 race in 2005. ?To win our home team race made it extra special. ? It was the highlight of my season.?
Il Giro, Italian for ?The Tour,? has a history of luring talented racers. Its winner in 1979 was three-time, Tour de France winner, Greg LeMond. Other famous cyclists who have won the race in years? past include former World Champion, Karen Brems; two-time Olympian, Eric Wohlberg; two-time Olympian, Kent Bostick; and National Champion, Helene Drumm.
Winner of the 2007 women?s 1/2/3 race and Metromint Cycling racer, Jane Robertson, talks about her win: ?My thoughts [during the race] kept drifting to my dad [who had just passed away]. ? With a lap to go, I was near the back of the pack. I gained position going up the hill and had momentum part way down the back stretch; I was moving up on the outside quickly. I rode up beside [teammate] Jen Joynt. Somehow, I saw the opening just before the barrier made the road narrower and said to Jen: ?I?m going!? I sprinted from the pack. I came into those final two turns very fast with Helene Drumm from Proman right in front of me. When we rounded the final corner, I got on her wheel for about two pedal strokes before I stood up and sprinted around her. I just caught her on the line. My first thoughts were to my dad. I started to cry and said to myself, ?That was for you, Dad.? ? It was not until later that I learned how much hard work the rest of the Metromint squad put in to keep the pack together. There were several breaks during the race that our team was instrumental in shutting down. So, the win was a big team effort.?
With ten races in all, the day of racing includes a beginner women?s race at 8:00am, a kids? race at 12:40pm, a women?s 1/2/3 race at 1:10pm; it concludes with a pro men?s race at 3pm. On-site, this family-friendly event will have an expo area with food vendors and a kids? fun zone with a big bouncy house and balloons. And, of course, Metromint water will be distributed. For a complete listing of the races and the history of the race, visit Metromintgiro.com.