ARCANUM — Head Donut Roger Bowersock is optimistic that this year’s Tour de Donut will draw 2,000 bicyclists to Darke County for a race that has gained international fame.
Approximately 1,000 riders have registered for the eighth annual Tour de Donut, Bowersock said, which is way up from past years.
The race usually gets an additional 1,00 riders to register in the last 30 days, Bowersock said. If that happens this year, the race could reach its cap of 2,000 riders.
“The cool thing about it now is it’s so established that it’s kind of created its own little cult following to where those registrations just show up,” Bowersock said. “We don’t have to go out any more and spend a lot of time chasing them down.”
Last year’s Tour de Donut, which was the largest in event history, drew 1,644 riders from 20 states and five countries to Arcanum. The race was featured on ESPN, on Bloomberg TV, in Bicycling Magazine and had an in-race reporter from Fatcyclist.com.
This year’s race is scheduled for Sept. 6. It will start in downtown Arcanum and make stops at Bear’s Mill and Franklin Monroe Schools — where competitors will devour doughnuts, knocking five minutes off their final time with each doughnut consumed.
The Tour de Donut includes multiple race options including a 15-mile course, a 32-mile course and a 64-mile course.
The 64-mile course is new this year and will have competitors stopping four times to eat doughnuts.
“We hope that’s the ticket to get us to the 2,000 riders we want,” Bowersock said of the inaugural 64-mile Double D challenge. “We’re really hopeful that this is the year that we get there.”
While riders converge on Darke County from throughout the world, many avid cyclists didn’t think a 32-mile race was long enough to attract them to the Tour de Donut, Bowersock said.
With that knowledge, race organizers had some riders complete the course twice last year to test the feasibility of contesting the Double D. It worked well, Bowersock said, so the new 64-mile option was added to attract a new group of riders.
With the longer ride being new this year, Bowersock anticipates some strong competition as competitors have incentive to establish the course record.
With less than a month to go before this year’s Tour de Donut, Bowersock is working with additional vendors and law enforcement to prepare for the race. There will be twice as many sheriff’s deputies present as in past years, he said, and Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road will be closed during the race for added security.
“it’s way more structured than it’s ever been,” Bowersock said. “We’ve got a good plan, and we’ve got a lot of good support that grows every year.”
Registration for the 2014 Tour de Donut will close on Sept. 1. Volunteers also are accepted to help work the event, Bowersock said.
For more information and online registration, visit http://thetourdedonut.com/. You also may contact Bowersock at 937-417-5772 or by email at Info@rocketshipsports.com.