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Tour de Cure finds new home at fairgrounds

Tour de Cure finds new home at fairgrounds

'The point of the day is to celebrate them, to embrace them and to support them'
Tour de Cure finds new home at fairgrounds
Riders wait for the start of the Tour de Cure on Sunday at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa.
Photographer: Erica Miller

A sea of bicyclists clad in red and riding through Ballston Spa early on Sunday morning in the 2018 American Diabetes Association's Capital Region Tour de Cure.

The annual event saw over 1,200 participants bike various distances, and walk or run a 5k.

The Tour de Cure is designed for novice and experienced cyclists alike, and includes 10-, 28-, 50-, 62.5- and 100-mile routes.

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The cycling event brings together people with and without diabetes to raise money for research and resources that can be provided to those living with the condition.

The Tour de Cure had a new home base this year at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds. For more than 20 years, the ride began at Saratoga Springs High School, and then was moved to the Peerless Pool area at the Saratoga Spa State Park last year.

This year, due to renovations at the pool, said Nicole DeCelle of the American Diabetes Association, the race was moved to the fairgrounds, where it will be held for at least the next three years.

The fundraising goal for Sunday was $825,000, and there were over 300 volunteers working at the event.

"The day is really centered around our Living Red participants, who are the participants living with diabetes," DeCelle said on Sunday, describing the riders sporting red shirts. "The point of the day is to celebrate them, to embrace them and to support them, but to also raise awareness."

Donna Pietrocola and Steve Pinheiro, who have participated in the Tour de Cure three and five times, respectively, were preparing for the 10-mile bike ride just before 10 a.m.

Pietrocola noted that the event isn't about how fast a rider can bike. More important, she said, is supporting people, both in the ride and those who are not, who are affected by diabetes.

"It's about raising the money to support people with diabetes," Pinheiro agreed. 

DeCelle said that for the 30 million Americans living with diabetes, events like the Tour de Cure are crucial in raising awareness, and are hugely successful. Turnout is consistently "phenomenal," she said, and each large gathering brings more and more people into the awareness fold each year.

"There is a need to increase awareness around [diabetes], and that really is what this day is all about," she said. "It brings the community together to support the cause and to support all those people living with diabetes. You have a day that brings almost 2,000 people together in one spot. The awareness that comes out of today is really unstoppable."

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