CROUCH, Idaho -- The town of Crouch celebrated on Sunday as the world's top women cyclists sped through their streets.
It was stage three and day four of the Exergy Tour as the inaugural women's bike race made a stop in the smallest town on the schedule.
I hope people just enjoy the hospitality that the locals have, said Sean McInally, who grew up just miles from the start line. Everyone is on their best behavior this weekend now that we're in the spotlight. It's awesome growing up here and to be able to share that with the world, in a way, is pretty great.
It was also a time to share it with other Idahoans.
When they first came to us in February, I was just ecstatic, because it's exactly what the Chamber has been working on, trying to bring events into Crouch and Garden Valley, said Diane Caughlin, president of the Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce. This just fell right into our laps and it was awesome!
The other towns on the Exergy Tour have taken advantage of the event as a way to showcase their restaurants and shops to people in the region. Community leaders in Crouch and Garden Valley, like Caughlin, were hoping people would look beyond their city limits too.
There's so much recreation, said Caughlin. We have 500 virtual hotel rooms, between cabins, motels and RV sites. People can come up here and they can do family reunions, or they can do bike rallies, etc...
You can just come up here and hike and climb and bike and everything, said McInally. So, it's great.
The riders were only in town for a few hours and racing through for just a moment. But Caughlin, who's also a business owner, said that small bit of attention on a small town can make a big impact.
The market's been pretty hard on this little town for the last five years, said Caughlin. We just need to bring people in and show them that we have a lot to offer.
Caughlin said while this is a huge event, more events are planned for the spring and summer that will continue to bring people into the area. There's a kayaking championship on June 8. There's more information on that and other events here.
Crouch and Garden Valley weren't the only towns to see action on Sunday. Stage three of the Exergy Tour finished up in Idaho City, where we are told there were so many spectators, they easily doubled the town's size of about 475 people.
The final stage of the Exergy Tour begins Monday at 11 a.m. in Boise's Hyde Park in the North End.