Competitive cycling is coming to the village Thursday when the Shorewood Criterium Cycling Classic will traverse its streets, arousing the familiar sounds of applause and cowbells, clinking glasses and whirring tires.
This will be the Criterium’s ninth year, and its third serving as the opening act for the Pro-Am Cycling Series known as the Tour of America’s Dairyland (ToAD).
"It has become one of Shorewood’s signature events," Jim Plaisted, Shorewood Business Improvement District executive director, said. “About 3,000 will come out to enjoy the race on Thursday.”
The veteran pro-cyclers in the Shorewood race have come to expect a level of fan excitement not easily matched elsewhere.
"It started as this bike race, but has really grown into a community-wide event, whether it’s gathering for a mini-festival on somebody’s lawn or around the finish line on Oakland Avenue," Plaisted said.
Lisa Downey, with the Shorewood BID marketing team, said the community comes together for lawn parties and barbecues, chiming their cowbells as the pro-cyclers race past.
The 1.4-mile course goes through the business district and residential streets. Shorewood police will close down busy streets for the event.
The women's race will start at 5 p.m. and the men's race at 7 p.m., both an hour long. There will also be a race for children aged 3 to 7 at 6 p.m. Children who participated in the Shorewood BID's First Ride on Saturday, where police and bike experts teach children how to ride their bicycles without training wheels, will be called to the front for the race.
In addition to the audience energy, the Shorewood race is unique due to the week of activities leading up to the race, organized by the Shorewood Business Improvement District.
Lisa Downey with the Shorewood BID said this year; residents can visit participating businesses in the village and enter for a chance to win a Trek 7.1fx bicycle.
Enter to win the Trek on the day of the race by visiting the Shorewood Patch tent west of the course's finish line. The winner of the bicycle will be announced on Thursday.
Also new this year, a few businesses in the 4500 block of Oakland Avenue will barricade the block, and Organizers hope to have a stage for live music and outside drink tables ready by 4:30 p.m. The festival will wrap up by 9:30 p.m. Three Lions is collaborating with , and Thief Wine for the festival.
The Shorewood Criterium is sponsored by Dr. Tim Hart D.D.S., Rainbow Jersey and the Shorewood BID.
However, the Tour of America’s Dairyland is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, so residents and athletes will notice free chocolate milk samples situated along the route.
The tour includes10 days of racing in southeastern Wisconsin after Shorewood’s kick-off. The full schedule is here.