WALLA WALLA - The 15th annual Tour of Walla Walla bike race is scheduled for April 15-17 throughout the Walla Walla Valley.
The Tour is a three-day, four-stage race for both men and women cyclists.
This year, the Tour of Walla Walla expects 600 riders competing for a purse of $12,500.
"We anticipate a strong group of riders both men and women competing this year," said Steve Rapp, race coordinator. "The race categories mixed with unique race courses and a strong biking community makes the Tour of Walla Walla one of the best races in the Northwest."
Most of the racers come from Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana, but racers also many come from Alaska, Utah, British Columbia, Alberta and beyond, Rapp said.
The Tour of Walla Walla website (www.tofww.org) has information about the race and online registration begin at 12:05 a.m. next Thursday.
Local racers can reserve a spot now by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, category, team, age, city and USCF license number. For early registration, local racers will need to donate time during the race weekend. A race representative will contact you.
The race begins Friday, April 15 with the Waitsburg Road Race at 3:45 p.m. The racing continues on Saturday, April 16 with a morning time trial and the afternoon criterium presented by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation.
The criterium will take place on a 1.1-mile course throughout downtown Walla Walla and the Whitman College campus. Races begin at 1:30 p.m., with races continuing until 8 p.m.
Announcer and former Olympian John Beckman will be describing the action as the racers compete for the top prize.
This year, the Tour of Walla Walla will encourage safe biking and healthy children by combining the Kid's Race with the YMCA Healthy Kids Day Celebration.
Local children ages 4-12 will get the chance to compete in a mini-triathlon, with the downtown Kid's Race being the final stage of the competition. The race begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with the bike and run being completed at the YMCA from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
On Sunday, April 17, the Tour of Walla Walla finishes with the Kellogg Road Race beginning at 8 a.m. in Waitsburg.
For more information, visit website www.tofww.org or call Allegro Cyclery at 525-4949.