Some streets in downtown St. Paul will close this afternoon for the annual Nature Valley Grand Prix bike race.
Bike racers will take to the streets around Landmark Plaza tonight and the city of St. Paul will block traffic on a number of streets starting this afternoon.
The Criterium race will feature dozens of bikers circling 7th, 5th, 4th and St. Peter streets. The pro women will start at 6:15 p.m. and the pro men's race will start at 7:45 p.m.
The event also features a kids race and a bike expo on 5th Street from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The biking will move to Uptown on Friday night, with racing and stunt riding. Those races will close Lake, 31st and 32nd streets as well as parts of Hennepin Holmes and Irving avenues.
Other races for the five day bike festival take place in Cannon Falls on Thursday, Menomonie on Saturday and Stillwater on Sunday.
Mayor Chris Coleman will start the men's race while St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler will start the women's race.
The course starts and finishes at Landmark Plaza, where the bike expo also will be located.