Lone Star Cyclists hosts the 27th Annual Tour d’ Italia

Image: The Varners finish with a grin and 1 hour and 20 minutes under their belt.

The Varners finish with a grin and 1 hour and 20 minutes under their belt. (Anne Sutherland)

Good weather brought groups of cyclists to Italy on Saturday. The 27th Annual Tour d’Italia was sponsored by the Lone Star Cyclists and over 1050 people registered and rode the countryside around Italy. Membership chairman, Rhea Reedy, estimated 555 people registered on Saturday morning, before the ride.

Held annually, the third week of June, the Lone Star Cyclists are proud to call Italy their “own.” Cyclists come from all over Texas and other states annually to ride 12, 30, 40, 50 and 63 mile routes. Italy High School benefits from this event with scholarships awarded. Also, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) and North Texas Food Bank are among the few charities benefiting from the riders.

Pat McGennis and Richard Dodd, co-directors of the ride, agreed this year was a better turnout than last year. IHS got involved and some of the students (NHS, student council and athletes) donated their time. Judi Rowe, local volunteer, said, “The kids have been helping, cleaning streets, sweeping bridges, loading and unloading trailers. They are fantastic help!”

Italy residents, Kim and Jill Varner, rode in their first Tour d’Italia enduring the 12 mile route just under 1hour, 20 minutes. They were third to ride under the “Finish Line” banner. First place riders were a family of four from Ovilla, the Durhams. “We rode it in 62 minutes,” Zach Durham, 10 years old, exclaimed. Eight year old brother, Sam, rode as well. “We ride every weekend if we can fit it in,” Zach explained. “This is definitely a family event,” Mr. Durham agreed.

If you are interested in riding next June, please visit their website. This an opportunity for Italy residents to organize an annual event to incorporate with the Tour d’Italia.