MUNDELEIN, Ill. - Downtown Mundelein turned into racing central Monday for the inaugural Mundelein Grand Prix.
The professional and amateur bike race attracted some 430 racers from around the world.
Along with a chance to see and cheer on the racers, fans can enjoy the beer garden, music and for the kids, games and art activities.
The Grand Prix is a criterium with racing all day, pretty much nonstop. It started at 10 a.m. Monday and will conclude at 8 p.m.
It’s a first here in Mundelein but also part of a larger series of races taking place over several days all around Chicagoland called "The Intelligentsia Cup," described by founder Tom Schuler as "a mini Tour de France".
The race has attracted cyclists from as far away as Germany and Belize.
The race has local bicycle racers pumped up.
"It’s absolutely incredible to have this kind of enormous national level race series essentially in my backyard, super fun," said Moira Barrett of Chicago.
"I just started racing last year and so I’m really excited and met some amazing people from all over and I get to race with them every day for 10 days," Jennifer Orozco said.
While other Chicago-area communities already have well-established bicycle races, cyclists FOX 32 talked to said there’s always room for more and Mundelein’s Grand Prix looks promising.
"I can say right now Mundy looks like it’s coming out very well," said Eric Stuck, whose favorite race is in Lake Bluff. "I have a feeling that with the course design and with the community support we’re going to be coming back out next year and hopefully for a long time."
After the women’s professional race Monday evening there is a break at 6:15 p.m. for a community ride in advance of the men’s professional race when anyone can take their bike on the course to check it out.