The Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) today announced professional and amateur cyclists will race through Detroit’s entertainment district when the Inaugural Detroit Cycling Championship takes place on Saturday, Sept. 9. The USA Cycling-sanctioned race will be presented by the DAC, and cycling enthusiasts and families are expected to watch nationally recognized athletes compete for $45,000 in cash prizes.
“We are pleased to be taking the DAC’s history of sports leadership and traditions to a new level with this event,” says Patrick O’Keefe, president of the DAC Board of Directors and founder and CEO of O’Keefe, a financial and strategic advisory firm in Bloomfield Hills. “The Detroit Cycling Championship will bring world-class cycling to our local community and offer fun for everyone. It will be an action-packed sports weekend in Detroit.”
Since 1888, the DAC has supported amateur athletics, some of whom have gone on to compete and medal at the Olympics, and elevate fitness programs in the community. Established in 1999, the DAC Foundation, a tax deductible, 501(c) 3, was formed to further advance the mission to support amateur athletics. The DAC Foundation mission is to preserve the legacy of philanthropy and support of amateur athletics instituted by the Club’s founders. This heritage has distinguished it among clubs all over the world.
The Detroit Cycling Championship will host multiple cycling competitions on the streets of downtown Detroit, and the course will run by several landmarks, including the DAC, Comerica Park, and Ford Field.
The racing series includes a military veteran race, sponsored by automotive supplier Cooper Standard. Participants will be experienced cyclists who are competing for medals and merchandise. The event will also include a children’s race and a healthy living exposition.
The Healthy Living Expo will take place in Grand Circus Park and feature bike safety sessions, health coaches, product sampling, and more. The community is also welcomed to attend a Food Truck Alley and Beer Garden, sponsored by Atwater Beer, which will feature food and drinks by local vendors.
Detroit Cycling Championship sponsor partners include Ford Motor Co., Chemical Bank, Cooper Standard, O’Keefe, Suburban Collection, Wico Metal, Motor City Harley Davidson, Brazen Sports, Atwater Beer, Conway Mackenzie, National Coney Island, Tim Hortons, HOUR Detroit, WXYZ, and the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.
Race participation fees range from free to $65 (register by August 10 and save $20, or register by Sept. 5 and save $10). Onsite registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 9. VIP tent access starts at $75. The event is free for non-participating race fans and the community.
In partnership with the Detroit Police Athletic League, the DAC and the Detroit Cycling Championship will also gather 130 new and gently used bikes, which will be presented to Detroit children who demonstrate superior sportsmanship.
“We are proud to partner with Detroit PAL to provide 130 bikes to children in the city of Detroit,” adds O’Keefe. “The kids are the real winners. We are going to give them the VIP experience on race day and present them with the bikes. They are also welcome to join in on the Kid’s race in the afternoon on September 9.”
The bike drive will run from Aug. 18-Sept. 5 and individuals or companies interested in donating bikes can find more information here. Race participation fees range from no cost to $65 and information can be found here.