By JACKSON WILSON
Less than a week leading up to the 34th annual Tour De Donut, the weather forecast was not looking convenient.
On July 8, however, Mother Nature provided a crowd of over 1,000 bikers with a pleasant surprise – a spring-type day in the middle of summer. Predicted storms had cleared and the temperature at the start was in the mid-70s. It remained such throughout the entire ride.
“The weather was the best in years and it made for a very fast race,” Tour De Donut director Christian Hasselberg said. “The forecast did not look good, and that probably kept some from coming. But they missed out.”
The Tour De France spoof and family-friendly journey took bikers along rural Macoupin County countryside from Staunton to Mt. Olive and Eagarville for a grand total of 32 miles. Those who weren’t interested in taking on the main loop but still desired to ride had the option of taking a shorter 14-mile route known as “The Donut Hole.”
“This has been ranked as one of the most interesting rides in America,” said Hasselberg. “We try to welcome everyone like family.
There were two donut stops stationed along the racing route. Bikers received a five-minute time bonus (deduction) for each Krispy Kreme they consumed.
Although this wasn’t the highest-ranked rendition in terms of eating records or fastest adjusted times, the actual race was “super fast and borderline with professional times,” according to Hasselberg.
“The leader ate 24 donuts this year,” said Hasselberg. “That’s still nothing to sneeze at.”
Three Staunton natives medaled as runner-ups in their respective age groups – Peyton Luketich (unadjusted 1-15 male); Grace Bekeske (unadjusted 16-19 female); and Joni Holloway (unadjusted 60-69 female).