The El Tour de Tucson cycling event, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will take place on Saturday. This cycling event is a big race, and it will pass through Green Valley and Sahuarita, just like it did in the previous year.
Around 9,000 cyclists are expected to join this year’s event. Participants can choose between riding distances of 102 miles, 63 miles, or 32 miles. There’s also a “Fun Ride” option for children and families, covering either one or three miles. The events start at 7 a.m. and finish at 4 p.m.
This will be the third time that the 102-mile race goes through parts of Green Valley and Sahuarita. The route for this year will be the same as last year, which was organized by the Green Valley Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers Commander Doug Kenyon. About 30 volunteers will help the deputies manage traffic flow during the event.
The 102-mile route goes through different roads like Sahuarita Road, Old Nogales Highway, Continental Road, Duval Mine Road, Mission Road, and Helmet Peak/Sahuarita Road before heading back to Nogales Highway towards Tucson. Sahuarita Road will have only one lane open for traffic moving east through town.
For local residents, it’s important to know about road closures to avoid getting stuck in traffic:
- Continental Road between CPAC and Duval Mine Road will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. going both east and westbound.
- Northbound Mission Road will be closed from Duval Mine Road to Helmet Peak Road from 9:30 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.
- Certain turns on roads like Abrego Drive, Continental Road, and La Canada Drive will not be allowed when cyclists are passing through.
The Continental Shopping Plaza will be busy, and some restrictions will apply, like no right turns out of the main entrance/exit while cyclists are passing. Also, note that Posada Java coffeehouse will be closed on the race day for parking lot maintenance.
There will be traffic restrictions around the I-19 and Continental Road interchange and the I-19 and Sahuarita Road area during specific times between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The event has a big impact beyond just cycling. Over 70 nonprofits have partnered with Banner University Medicine through this tour, raising more than $114 million for charity. They’ve also provided bikes to children in need and boosted Southern Arizona’s economy by more than $4.5 million.
Some interesting facts about the participants:
- 71% are male.
- 62% are between 35 and 64 years old.
- People from all 50 states and 13 countries are taking part.
- About 32% of the riders are from outside Arizona.
- Nearly half of the participants have ridden in this event one to five times before, while 39% are participating for the first time.