New Haven’s First Grand Prix set for Friday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s being described as “Nascar on bikes.” The Grand prix will include 100 riders, most professional, and up to 10-thousand spectators.

New Haven’s first Grand Prix which will feature three major races. “An amateur, a woman’s pro and a men’s pro race. Riders will do 30-40 laps going 35-40 mph in a pack going around and around,” said Doug Hausladen who helped organize the Grand Prix.

“This is an opportunity to highlight our cultural aspects, our healthy lifestyle and our cycling culture in New Haven,” he said.

“At the start/finish there will be a pit area like Nascar where a cyclist can pull in with mechanical problem and if we can fix it in one lap he gets to go back into the race,” said Matthew Feiner, who will be working in the pit.

Feiner said, “The real trick to watching a bike race is to walk backward around the course and go against the grain so the riders are always coming at you a little quicker a little quicker.”

It’s the hope the Grand Prix will help boost New Haven’s economy. Hausladen said, “With 7-10K visitors expected all of our restaurants will be packed so we hope they come to race and then go to restaurants and then enjoy the festival.”

The event gets underway during rush hour on Friday so drivers should expect some traffic tie-ups and parking restrictions that start as early as 11am that day. Hausladen said, “There will be two lanes of traffic on Elm Street open so we ask people for a little bit of patience. We did not want to shut down major corridors in New Haven without a good release valve.”

This map shows parking restrictions…

City street closures for the New Haven Grand Prix (Map courtesy of the New Haven Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking)
City street closures for the New Haven Grand Prix (Map courtesy of the New Haven Department of Transportation, Traffic, and Parking)

Notes for traffic and parking:

  • There will be no parking after 11am on College Street from Elm to Crown
  • No parking after 1:00 p.m. on High Street from Elm to Chapel… and Chapel to Temple street
  • No parking after 2:00 p.m. on Elm street from York to Temple
  • No parking after 2:00 p.m. on Chapel street between Church and Orange street
  • You can find a complete list of parking lots available at Park New Haven

The event runs from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday. It’s free to watch the Grand Prix. There will also be a festival that features pizza, beer gardens and an urban mountain biking challenge. More information can be found online at the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program online.

If the Grand Prix goes as well as the city expects they will make it an annual event. WTNH is the media sponsor for the event.


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