OSHKOSH – It’s called the largest touring bike race in the country and hundreds of cyclists turned out for the Tour of America’s Dairyland stop in Oshkosh Thursday afternoon.
“Four years ago I weighed 300 pounds and had high blood pressure and so I went and bought a bike,” said Anthony Reguero.
Thanks to that bike, Reguero told FOX 11 he’s feeling better than ever. So he came all the way from California to race in the Tour of America’s Dairyland.
“The courses are all incredible, the competition is incredible. Everybody’s just motivated to do their best out here and everybody gets behind it. So it makes it a great time,” said Reguero.
The 11-day event started five years ago. Each day there are races in a different Wisconsin city.
“Trying to showcase Wisconsin and make it known as a place you come to race your bike,” said executive director Jack Hirt.
Thursday cyclists rode in Oshkosh around the UW-Oshkosh campus.
“The course is wide-open and fast. It’s a one-mile, criterium style,” explained race coordinator Chris Yaggie, who explained criterium means a closed, rectangular course, popular in the cycling world.
And the tour itself is gaining popularity in the cycling world too. Organizers told FOX 11 it’s the largest event of its kind in the country.
“It is drawing internationally. There are some folks here from Australia, Europe as well,” said Yaggie.
“Everybody goes out on weekend rides and wants to know who’s the fastest and here they can actually come out and prove it,” said Hirt.
Organizers told us the most important part of the Tour of America’s Dairyland is that it’s for professional and amateur cyclists, alike.
“You can go on a weekend and ride in smaller races, but very rarely do the amateurs get a professional race experience,” explained Hirt.
It’s an experience Reguero told us he’ll come back for next year.
“Just being a competitive person and losing weight, hanging out, you feel like a kid again. I’m 54 and I get to feel 24 again,” he said.
Friday the race will be the Commonwealth Classic in downtown Fond du Lac for its 9th out of 11 stops.