First-ever New Haven Grand Prix to include top-notch racing, pizza festival

New Haven mayor Toni Harp with some riders. (CCAP)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–“The New Haven Grand Prix will turn the Elm City into New Orleans.”

At least that’s the idea behind the 50-mile bicycle race that will take over the Chapel Street area on Friday, September 18. The event will coincide with a pizza truck festival (the New Haven Apizza Fest) and beer garden, sponsored by Sierra Nevada, on College Street.

More than 100 riders, most of whom will be professional level 1 or 2, will make up the men’s field. Some of those guys have raced in the Tour de France, according to organizer Aiden Charles.

The Grand Prix will also include a women’s race, a youth race, and a dirt bike event in the area. The course will run less than a mile on Chapel, Temple, High and Elm streets.

“Think of NASCAR on bicycles,” said Hunter Pronovost of the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, which is sponsoring the event. “It’s going to be lap after lap of exciting, fast racing action under the lights. It’s going to be great.”

The first race will begin at 6 p.m., and the entire event will be free to attend, save for a $5 charge for the pizza truck festival.

The men’s race is expected to begin at 8:30 p.m.

Grand Prix organizers are expecting over 15,000 people on race day.

The festival should be a blast, as it will include a Mario Kart tournament (awesome), in addition to all of the pizza and beer.

One-third of the sponsorship dollars raised will go toward supporting school and youth cycling programs.

NEWS 8 and SportzEdge.com are proud sponsors and will have continuing coverage of the event.

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