After initial cancellation, Downer Classic bike race will return this summer

The Otto Wenz Café Hollander Downer Classic, a popular bike race on Milwaukee’s East Side, is set to take place Thursday, June 24.

Historic Downer Avenue BID announced the news Thursday, months after initially canceling the annual event in light of the city’s COVID-19 restrictions.

“There was an outpouring of sadness form community members and business owners at the cancellation of the race. As restrictions have eased and potential fines became irrelevant, organizers worked fast to bring the beloved race back to Downer Avenue this year,” the BID said in a news release.

The day-long race event is one of the stops on the Tour of America’s Dairyland, a competitive road biking series scheduled to take place June 16 – June 27. For the past 13 years (except for last year), ToAD draws cyclists from across the U.S. and overseas to compete in criterium-style races, hosted by neighborhoods and business districts. Spectators gather by the thousands to be part of the action and patronize nearby bars, restaurants and businesses.