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Banner – University Medicine & Banner – University Health Plans and Networks 40th El Tour de Tucson set for Nov. 18

It’s just around the corner! The Banner – University Medicine & Banner – University Health Plans and Networks 40th El Tour de Tucson set for Saturday, Nov. 18.

And, of course, title sponsor Banner – University Medicine & Banner – University Health Plans and Networks will have a big presence at the event in and around the Tucson Convention Center.

It will be a celebration of cycling throughout Tucson and parts of Southern Arizona.

Leading up to the rides will be the Casino Del Sol Expo & Fiesta, which begins on Thursday at noon. The three-day Expo is open to the public in Downtown Tucson and features more than 100 booths filled with activities and giveaways.

Packet pickup begins at noon on Thursday as well as the Expo party, which will feature food booths, exhibitors, and El Tour merchandise. Each day will feature headline bands at the Stewart Title Main Stage. For the three-day Expo Banner will have its helicopter on site at the Tucson Convention Center.

On Saturday – Ride Day – it all begins at 6 a.m. when cyclists get ready to ride their designated event. Cyclists will line up as early as 5 a.m. for the 7 a.m. start.

In addition to cycling, there is an El Tour 5k Run/Walk which begins at 7:30 a.m. and is open to all ages. It’s a great family and community event. All finishers will receive a medallion.

The rides begin on Saturday at 7 a.m. with the 102-mile event and which will for with rides of 63-miles (half century) and 32-miles (quarter century). It will also include Fun Rides of 3-miles and one mile for children and families. The Fun Rides begin at 8 a.m.

BannerAir helicopter will be on display just west of the TCC.

During Saturday’s ride, on the route, Banner has equipped our experienced Bike Patrol team with fanny packs with first-aid kits and emergency supplies ready for any road mishaps. Banner will also be hosting a first-aid tent at the start-finish line.

Everything begins and ends at the Tucson Convention Center where as many as 9,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities are expected to come together to ride various routes to celebrate El Tour de Tucson’s 40th anniversary.

Banner representatives Sarah Spiekermeier, CEO and James Stringham, vice president, will be at the 7 a.m. send off with confetti cannons, in addition to the start times for the 32-mile event (10 a.m.) and 63-miler (9 a.m.).  And, also the 5K run starting at 8 a.m.

The Sunnyside mariachi band, Los Diablitos, will also be playing music at the start line.

During the Expo on race day, there will be dressed-up superheroes and Star Wars characters ready for photographs for Expo visitors.

It will also celebrate El Tour’s designation of being the Best Road Cycling Bike Ride in America by USA Today.

“This looks like it will be one of El Tour’s most participated events ever,” said TJ Juskiewicz, El Tour’s executive director. “And that’s appropriate given the event has been around four decades and attracts cyclists from all over the world. This year we will have cyclists from every state in the United States and numerous countries. It’s a testament to the community helping make Tucson a destination for cycling and great weather.”