The 39th annual Metromint Giro di San Francisco is coming up this Labor Day! This fast and furious criteruim will be held on its usual challenging course near Levi Plaza. Forget the Tour de France . . this is real bike racing . . it's the Tour di San Francisco!!

Once again, the streets of San Francisco will be full of fast, fit and colorful cyclists, all with hopes of earning the top spot on the podium. Top local teams will all be represented and the riders with red, white and blue stipes on their arms? National champions. The riders with rainbow stripes on their arms? World champions!! The Giro has a long history of accomplished riders who have crossed the finish line first for the coveted podium position. Did you know that Greg Lemond won it in 1979 and 1980? He sure did. How about the winner in 1988? Did you know that it was Bob Mionske? Yes, that's the guy who writes the legal column for VeloNews magazine. Do you know how many Metromint Cycling team members have won this race? We know, but we can't tell you. We'll give you a hint- it's a lot! Come check it out this year and see who gets added to this very elite list!

The Giro has a wonderful history. The race began as the "San Francisco Gran Prix" and was started by George Pagni of the San Francisco Columbus Day Celebration Committee in 1975. The race moved to Lake Merced for 1976-77 before being renamed “Il Giro” ("Giro" is Italian for "Tour" like "Chianti" is Italian for "red wine in a wicker covered bottle.") The race moved again to the northeast part of San Francisco in 1978, with a course that included a descent down the bricks of Lombard Street! The Giro moved to its present location in 1981. The race remains under the direction of Robert A. Leibold of Velo Promo and is organized by SOMA Beverage Company (Metromint) and Metromint Cycling.

Metromint employees and Metromint Cycling team members work hard to put on such an exciting and spectator friendly race. You can count on cheering crowds lining the start finish area and celebrations on the key corners. A huge thanks goes out to all the hard-working volunteers who help by marshaling the course, preparing for the race and gathering sponsors. Finally, the race could never take place without Metromint the company and it's dedicated employees. Metromint Cycling is grateful to have such a refreshingly cool sponsor!!!