LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Avid Cyclists in Las Vegas keep track of Tour de France developments all year long, and some couldn't believe the tour would bring their international attention to Las Vegas for a two day event in 2023.
Deb Hawkins has been a road cyclist for years, and said the newly announced L'Etape Las Vegas races was very exciting news.
"I think it should have been done a long time ago," Hawkins said. "We actually keep the map on our wall that's set for the next year, pegged for all the sections and stages."
Hawkins said, as a front-line nurse, cycling helped her and several of her coworkers keep it together as the pandemic upended thousands of lives.
"The biggest outlet was bicycling," she said. "I can't tell you how many referrals. I told people, I want you to go to the bicycle shop, get out on your bike, it's the only thing you can do."
Hawkins said she believes the tour's plan to get Las Vegas cyclists ranging from veterans to amateurs involved in three races starting at the Las Vegas Ballpark with a chance to ride with a Tour de France champion on the line could bolster interest in the valley's already thriving cyclist scene.
It could also help the workers at her favorite shop, Pro Cyclery, whom she calls family.
"It's exciting," employee Justin Caramanica said.
Carimanica said any attention brought to cycling in Las Vegas could help boost sales at the locally owned shop.
"Anything that brings more people into the sport, brings more people into local mom and pop shops like ours, is a good thing for cycling," he said.
The L'Etpe Las Vegas will roll into Las Vegas on May 13 and 14 of 2023.