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Wilmington Grand Prix returns this year


Cycling fans mark your calendars, the City of Wilmington is welcoming back one of the premier cycling events on the East Coast.

The Wilmington Grand Prix will run from Friday, May 13th through Sunday, May 15th.

Laura Van Gilder is the event’s race director and one of the most successful racers in USA Cycling history. She says the hope is to pick up where the growing event left off before the pandemic.

“The community aspect of this event has really been the foundation of the success of the event. And as a result we’ve seen the downtown businesses prosper,” explained Van Gilder. “This is no longer just a working community coming out to see the event, but it's a weekend event and it’s a destination area. And I’m so excited to see it return again this year.”

And Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki says this is a great step in bringing more events back to the city.

“This is marvelous for those of us who care so deeply about our city to see this resurgence of activity,” said Purzycki. “And I don’t know that there are too many events that we have here that have more energy in them than our grand prix.”

The event not only attracts local spectators and cyclists, but, as a part of the USAC’s National Race Calendar, draws cyclists from across the world.

Van Gilder adds the Wilmington Grand Prix was one of her favorite races as a pro-cyclist because of its difficulty, allowing racers to shine as they compete on the unique terrain across the city.

This year’s event kicks off with the Monkey Hill Time Trial in Brandywine Park, where racers will compete in a 3.2-mile race against the clock up a steep cobblestone path. There will also be a kick-off party during this race, with food trucks and live music for spectators and participants to enjoy.

There will be several races for cyclists over the 3-day event, including the Men’s and Women’s Pro Races, the Governor’s Ride, and the Gran Fondo.

And non-racers can participate in the Major Taylor Community Ride on Saturday, which is open to the public.

All of the races are free to watch, with family-friendly events all weekend.

More information and racer registration is available at the race website.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021