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Downtown Tulsa Will Be Tulsa Tough Friday Evening

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Cyclists racing the Riverparks portion of Tulsa Tough last year. Cyclists racing the Riverparks portion of Tulsa Tough last year.
Cyclists competing in the Blue Dome district portion of Tulsa Tough last year. Cyclists competing in the Blue Dome district portion of Tulsa Tough last year.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Some of the best of the best professional cyclists from around the world are gearing up for races in downtown Tulsa Friday thru Sunday.

Friday evening kicks off the first race in the 7th annual Saint Francis Tulsa Tough.

Executive Director Malcolm McCollam says many racers hope to win the $116,000 purse this year.

This event is growing in popularity. Last year, it attracted 30,000 spectators, a 300 percent increase since 2006.

This is a fast-paced event that takes up the entire weekend.

Tulsa Tough also has an estimated $2 million impact on the economy.

The first set of races begins Friday in the Tulsa's Blue Dome district.

City of Tulsa street crews have been busy over the past few days getting the race routes ready for Tulsa Tough. Streets have been washed, rough spots smoothed out and construction barricades pushed back.

The first race starts at 6:15 p.m. in the Blue Dome district.  Races continue at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Brady Arts district and move to Riverparks on Sunday starting at 8:40 a.m.

A number of streets in the downtown area will be closed Friday in preparation for Tulsa Tough:

  • Second Street from Elgin to Greenwood Avenue.
  • Second Street from Detroit to Elgin
  • Elgin between First and Third Streets
  • Sections of First and Second Streets at Elgin and Detroit.

FRIDAY, June 8

5 p.m.

Festival begins, northeast corner of east 2nd Street and Elgin Avenue

Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is a family friendly event. Most importantly it's a completely unique way to experience Tulsa and its unique local vendors, exhibitors and artisans. We have activities for kids, family rides, and one giant street festival for three days straight.

6:15 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m.

McNellie's Group Blue Dome Criterium, Blue Dome District, 420 E. 2nd Street, Tulsa, OK

Saint Francis Tulsa Tough kicks off Friday night with three men's category races and one women's race under the lights of downtown Tulsa's Blue Dome entertainment district. A spectator must see, the races are fast - weaving through crowded streets lined with live music and vendors.

8:50 p.m. (women) and 10 p.m. (men)

Podium ceremony, Blue Dome District, 420 E. 2nd Street, Tulsa, OK

Winners of the McNellie's Group Blue Dome Criterium will be announced.

SATURDAY, June 9

7:30 a.m.

Start of Saturday GranFondo races, start line at ONEOK Field (Arvest Gate), Elgin and Brady

Saturday's GranFondo heads south and southwest through Jenks, Keifer, Kellyville, Keystone and Sand Springs. Rides include the Petit 24 (miles,) Piccolo 40, Medio 68, Grand 109 and Mondo 127. The first finishers will cross the finish line near Cain's Ballroom (423 N. Main St.) at approximately 9:30 a.m.

9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

GranFondo Celebrazione, near Cain's Ballroom, 423 N. Main St.

All GranFondo riders are treated to food and a festival to celebrate finishing their ride. Riders will be available to interview about the courses, their rides and their experiences.

11 a.m.

Festival begins, on north Main between Brady Street and Cameron Street

Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is a family friendly event. Most importantly it's a completely unique way to experience Tulsa and its unique local vendors, exhibitors and artisans. We have activities for kids, family rides, and one giant street festival for three days straight.

11 a.m. to approximately 9:30 p.m.

George Kaiser Family Foundation Brady Village Criterium, Brady Arts District, Boston Avenue and Brady Street

Saturday's races offer something for all skill levels in the heart of the Brady Arts District. Eleven categories of racers compete Saturday afternoon.

3:30 p.m.

Saturday kids race, Brady Arts District, corner of Main and Brady

The kids' races provide two categories for Tulsa's youngest riders; under five years and ages six to nine. Professional announcers call the kids' races and the crowds rival the professional races. All kids races are free and participants receive finisher ribbons.

8:25 p.m. (women) and 9:55 p.m. (men)

Podium ceremony, Brady Arts District, Boston Avenue and Brady Street

Winners of the George Kaiser Family Foundation Brady Village Criterium will be announced.

SUNDAY, June 10

7:30 a.m.

Start of Sunday GranFondo races, start line at Boulder Park, 18th and Boulder

Sunday's three routes take riders north to Sperry, Skiatook, Vera, Ochelata, Barnsdall and Avant on the rolling terrain of Tulsa, Washington and Osage counties. Ride options include the Piccolo 35 (miles,) Medio 63 and Grand 104. The first finishers will cross the finish line on Riverside (near Galveston Avenue) at approximately 9:30 a.m.

8:40 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m.

River Parks Criterium, Riverside area, 13th and Riverside Drive

Home of Cry Baby Hill, the River Parks Crits are sure to test the hardest racers. Running along the scenic Arkansas River and staged from the River Parks, Sunday's races are a challenge for the fittest of racers and distinguish the "Tulsa Tough."

9 a.m.

Festival begins, Houston Avenue and Riverside Drive in the River Parks

Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is a family friendly event. Most importantly it's a completely unique way to experience Tulsa and its unique local vendors, exhibitors and artisans. We have kids activities, family rides, and one giant street festival for three days straight.

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

GranFondo Celebrazione, Riverview Festival area, Riverside Drive and Galveston Avenue

All GranFondo riders are treated to food, drinks and a festival to celebrate finishing their ride. Riders will be available to interview about the courses, their rides and their experiences.

12:50 p.m.

Sunday kids race, River Parks, 13th and Riverside Drive

The kids' races provide two categories for Tulsa's youngest riders; under five years and ages six to nine. Professional announcers call the kids' races and the crowds rival the professional races. All kids races are free and participants receive finisher ribbons.

1 p.m. or sooner (maybe even the night before)

Cry Baby Hill, 13th and Lawton Avenue

Cry Baby Hill is infamous for testing the toughest and fittest racers. Fans in Tulsa line the street with coolers, costumes and enthusiasm to cheer the racers up the hill.

2 p.m.

Lobeck-Taylor Foundation Townie Ride, starting from 15th and Riverside, finishing at Galveston and Riverside

The 8-mile townie ride is designed as a family activity. All ages will participate in the Townie Ride and rediscover the joy of cycling. All finishers receive a finisher's medal.

4:20 p.m. (women) and 5:50 p.m. (men)

Podium, 13th and Riverside Drive

Winners of the River Parks Criterium will be announced, as well as the omnium (overall) winners.

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