Morton Cycling Classic

By Marc Strauss

August 20, 2011 Updated Aug 20, 2011 at 6:26 PM CDT

Same race, new place. The inaugural Morton Cycling Classic was held on Saturday, an event formerly known as the Proctor Cycling Classic.

About 250 people competed in 11 age groups on a course running through Morton's downtown business district.

One participant came from as far away as Armenia where he's a member of that country's national cycling team.

Event organizers say its all about promoting the sport and encouraging the next generation of cycling enthusiasts.

"I think it does a lot to encourage them," said Kevin Lantz, preident of the Peoria Bicycle Club. "In this morning's juniors race, the 10 to 18 year-old category, it was the largest field I've seen in probably the last 10 years. We had close to 20 participants."

$4,000 in prize money was up for grabs. And for spectators there was also an arts and crafts show.