BOISE -- Five Idaho cities got some big news today that could bring thousands of dollars into their communities. They will be part of a major, international cycling event coming to Idaho in May.

The Exergy Tour will be held over Memorial Day weekend. It will bring with it about 100 of the top-ranked female cyclists in the world -- competing for one last chance to make it to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

First Lady Lori Otter announced the five host cities for the 2012 Exergy Tour.

The five day stage race will start in Boise. Day two will take place in and around Nampa. From there, teams will ride through the high desert of Kuna, then on to the alpine stage of Crouch, Garden Valley and Idaho City. The race will head back to Boise on the final day.

Like the HP Women's Challenge from the early 1980s and 1990s, officials with the Exergy Tour wanted to showcase some of Idaho's diverse and beautiful scenery. And like the Women's Challenge, the Exergy Tour will likely bring a lot of money to the small towns hosting it and who've been hit hard by the economy.

This is going to be a really big boost, said Idaho City Mayor Jackie Bridwell. We ve been hit hard like all other communities, but it seems like our smaller, rural cities hurt a little bit more. It is gonna be an opportunity for us to show people that we are alive and well, and we re going to stay there.

With the economy the way it is right now this is big, gonna be a big boost to our economy up there, and I know the Garden Valley people, and the people of Crouch will fully support this tour. We're looking forward to it, said Crouch Mayor Bob Powell.

The Exergy Tour will be an important race for the 10 to 15 professional teams coming from around the world. It will be one of the last races to provide international ranking points crucial to qualifying for the upcoming Olympic Games in London.

It is exciting news for the towns hosting the Exergy Tour because former, current and future Olympians will be riding the roads around their towns and bringing a lot of money with them.

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