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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Bicycle Wheels Set To Spin In Southern Wisconsin

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A competitive bicycle race is set to whirl through the streets and roads of southern Wisconsin.    

Paul Murphy is the co-chair of the Janesville Town Square Gran Prix. He said over the course of two days about $30,000 will be given out to participants.  

“How do you get racers to go faster? You show $500 or you show $200 or you show $2,000,” he said.

He said all participants will go home with something.  The amounts will be determined during the race.  

He said in 2019 some riders received $100 before things began.

“And you do little things like that, that the racers appreciate, but also gets the crowd engaged. And so, it's a real fun activity,” he said.

About 1,800 people attended in 2018 and about 4,000 in 2019. This year Murphy said they are expecting about 5,000 people.  

Volunteers are also needed for this event.

“The highest percentage of volunteers we need are crosswalk volunteers,” Murphy explained. “There are six crosswalks that safely get the spectators across the street, but then also allow the bicyclists to safely travel. But it's the best seat in the house.”

Roads will be closed during this time. Spectators can watch the race close-up. 

The free event also includes family activities. Presented by the Tour of America Dairyland, the race will take place June 17 and 18 at the town square. Actual times can be found on the event’s website

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.