WEEKENDER : 1,000 Bicyclists Expected in Manhattan Beach Grand Prix

The South Bay's version of the Tour de France will be the 29th annual Grand Prix Bike Races of Manhattan Beach, scheduled all day Sunday next to Live Oak Park, 1600 Valley Drive.

More than 1,000 entrants are expected in a variety of races and age-group competitions. About 150 riders will compete in the featured 84-kilometer (50-mile) Senior 1-2 Pro Race, which starts at 1 p.m. and consists of 35 laps around the course on Valley, Pacific and Ardmore avenues and 15th Street.

The winner of the pro race will get $1,000 in cash and prizes, and the top 20 finishers will share a $5,000 cash pot, said event organizer Jerry Hazemoto.

Shorter races for men and women, starting as early as 7 a.m., will offer cash prizes to the top 10 finishers. All the adult races are sanctioned by the U.S. Cycling Federation.

Although Tour de France winner Greg LeMond isn't expected to compete in Manhattan Beach, two members of Team 7-11 who did take part in the famous French race--Roy Knickman and Jeff Pierce--will participate Sunday.

Community bike races of just one lap, for adults of all ages, will be held on the same course starting at 10:40 a.m. Children's races of 300 yards will begin at 3 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by the South Bay Wheelmen and the Manhattan Beach Lions Club, with proceeds going to Lions Club charities.

Information: (213) 318-5553.

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