The Morgan Hill Grand Prix bike race, called a criterium, will
take over downtown on Sunday, April 10.
The Morgan Hill Grand Prix bike race, called a criterium, will take over downtown on Sunday, April 10.

Organizers believe the event will cause little disruption and punch up local business.

In fact, many businesses are so eager for the hundreds of potential customers, they plan to open on a day they are normally closed.

Even though Monterey Road will be closed to traffic from 5am to 7pm, most businesses are accessible from the back – from Del Monte on the west and Depot Street on the east.

Once before Morgan Hill residents took part in a bike race, about 10 years ago, but it was not repeated and no one can remember why it went away.

“It was probably because the downtown merchants didn’t like the idea,” said Dan Craig, executive director of the Downtown Association.

This time will be different, Craig said, because organizers have worked with Specialized Bicycles, the local internationally known company sponsoring the race, and with the Chamber, to ensure a smooth day. Organizers hope the race will become an annual event.

“Specialized is working with a really professional group that will provide a turnkey operation,” Craig said.

The 300-500 bike riders and 2,000 spectators will follow the one-mile circuit starting on Monterey and finishing with a spectacular, breath-taking plunge down the West Third Street hill (called Nob Hill), across the narrow bridge to the finish line on Monterey.

The bridge, in fact, will be known during the race as the Third Street Webcor Bridge because it was resurfaced and repaired compliments of the Webcor Building Co., which also sponsors professional cycling teams.

Besides watching the race and visiting downtown shops and restaurants, spectators will be able to view 10-15 displays set up by event sponsors and cycling companies and enjoy a day-long string of events for children and adults.

Martin and Chamber Director Dan Erhler are working to make sure the criterium become an annual event.

“We are real excited about these two events and have put a request to the “Chamber gods” for good weather,” Ehrler said referring to the bike race and four-day Far Westerns Swim Meet that begins Thursday at the Aquatics Center. “This is an opportunity for people who’ve never been here to discover what a great place it is.”

Previous articleSafety concerns raisede again at Hollister Hills
Next articleAll In Favor Say Aye
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here