Alexandria will be hosting the first event of the Minnesota State High School Cycling League’s season at Lake Brophy County Park this weekend, August 29-30.

The mountain bike trails at Lake Brophy County Park will be closed to the public during this time, and due to COVID-19 spectators will not be allowed to watch the event. The beach area and playground at Lake Brophy Park will remain open to the public.

The Minnesota State High School Cycling League is holding seven events this year, with Lake Brophy Park in Alexandria being its first one of the season. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers say the structure of the event has been changed to allow the athletes to compete in a safe manner following all MDH and CDC guidelines.

The most notable changes include the race being altered to a time trial format with only one team on site at a time, and no spectators allowed at the event.

This is the first time an event of this level has been hosted on the newly developed trails.

“It is very exciting to get to host a race of this magnitude in Douglas County. Teams from all over will get to come experience Brophy Park and the Alexandria Lakes Area”, said Brad Bonk of Douglas County Parks and Trails in a news release. “A tremendous amount of volunteer hours and effort have gone into these trails. Jeff Brand, The Alexandria Mountaineers (coaches, riders and families), Rune Stone Off Road Cyclists, and Jake’s Bikes deserve a lot of credit. This is a celebration of their efforts. Hopefully next year we can have the event and invite the community to come gather and celebrate together.”

“Although the 2020 year isn’t quite what we all expected, we are thankful to have the opportunity to get more kids riding bikes this season”, said Joshua Kleve of the Minnesota High School Cycling League. “The new trails at Brophy Park are a great community asset and serve as a great first stop for the league this year. We sincerely appreciate the hospitality of the Alexandria community and are looking forward to a great event weekend.”

While this event may look a little different this year, Alexandria hopes to continue hosting these events in the future.

“We are so happy to have this event come to Alexandria. So much great work has been done by passionate groups of people to develop mountain bike trails in our area and this event helps elevate these great outdoor assets. Looking forward to a great event this year and hope to continue to hosting these races in subsequent years”, said James Feist, executive director of Explore Alexandria Tourism.