Women's Cycling Competition the Exergy Tour Kicks off Wednesday 

International and domestic teams travel to Boise for professional cycling

Memorial Day weekend is looming, and that means two things: No. 1, It's time to start thinking about barbecues, and No. 2, the Exergy Tour is upon us.

The inaugural Exergy Tour—a multi-stage professional women's bike race—will have its official kick-off on Wednesday, May 23, when the 17 participating teams from around the world will be formally introduced at a celebration at The Grove, beginning at 7 p.m.

Racing will begin Thursday, May 24, when the teams compete on a stage that will have them in the heart of downtown Boise. The Prologue stage serves as the overall start and will close Capitol Boulevard from Julia Davis Park to the Boise Train Depot.

Teams will race a time trial-style leg that will lead them around the depot and back to the park for a total of two miles. The public is invited not only to watch the action but also to join in the fun with activities and entertainment in the park.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Julia Davis Park, with racing beginning at 6:30 p.m. The park will also be home to the Expo and Finish Festival, which will include music, food, merchandise and concessions. The Expo will be located at the finish line of each day's stage and will serve as a gathering point for fans to take advantage of entertainment, activities and food throughout the day.

Day 2 (Friday, May 25) will cover nearly 75 miles in the area south of Nampa, with racing beginning at 11 a.m. Racers will travel along Lake Lowell then to the Snake River Canyon before heading back to downtown Nampa.

The world-class racers will compete in time trials in Kuna Saturday, May 26, with racing action beginning at 11 a.m. Fans can take advantage of a special offer from St. Luke's Sports Medicine at the Expo when they will be giving away free bike helmets to kids age 15 and younger (quantities are limited).

Things head uphill on Sunday, May 27, when the teams race through the mountains between Crouch and Idaho City. A community breakfast will kick things off at 10 a.m. in Crouch, with racing beginning at noon.

The race weekend will wrap up on Monday, May 28, back in Boise, with a final 46.6-mile segment that begins and ends in Hyde Park, where there will be activities, entertainment and booths to check out, and the overall champion trophy will be awarded.

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