It’s a simple question with infinite answers.

Why is El Tour de Tucson so popular?

“Where do I start,” event registration director Barbara Franklin asked. 

As of Friday afternoon, 8,288 riders had registered for this year’s event and Franklin expects the final number to surpass last year’s total of 8,612.

“So long as we match the previous year’s total, we’re happy,” said Franklin, who added the final number won’t be known until today. 

Riders from 48 states along with competitors from Germany, Dubai, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Japan and Australia are expected to participate today. 

The list of reasons that draw people from all over the world to Tucson are long.

Read more about El Tour de Tucson in Saturday's Arizona Daily Star.