Tulsa's premiere cycling event returns, this weekend, after a year missed due to the pandemic. Riders from around the country are descending on Tulsa.
"To be able to get back on that stage this year and watch that crowd come together is going to be special," Saint Francis Tulsa Tough Executive Director Malcolm McCollam said.
"Getting back into racing is really exciting," Justin Williams, cyclist for L39ION of Los Angeles, said.
Tulsa Tough is the first national race Williams and his L39ION teammates rode off with a victory at in 2019. The pandemic cost the cyclists a chance at a repeat and shut down their entire 2020 season.
"It was an emotional roller coaster of getting ready and then thinking the season was going to return," he said. "We're really, really hungry to get out there and show what we can do."
The race's return is not only a welcome sight to the athletes, but also to downtown businesses.
McColloam said the cycling weekend is a moneymaker for bars and restaurants in the Blue Dome District and hotels booking up athletes for the cycling spectacle.
"You can feel the energy of downtown coming back to life now," he said.
Tulsa Tough festivities kick off with a "Ride With the Pros" at Spoke House Bicycles Tulsa at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
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