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February 7/11 13:19 pm - USA Crits Championship Series Announces 2011 Schedule


Posted by Editoress on 02/7/11
 

The 2011 USA CRITS Championship Series will race through America's main streets starting in Athens, GA on April 30th and ending on America's Main Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington, D.C. on October 2nd.  Celebrating its fifth season, the ten-race series will have teams racing through nine states and the Nation's Capital to determine the best criterium racers in America.

The Series features the return of eight races from the 2010 season plus the addition of two new events - the Tour de Grove in St. Louis, MO and the Evanston Grand Prix in Evanston, IL.  The number of women's races on the Series will increase from five events in 2010 to eight events this season.  Additionally, seven of the ten events are also featured criteriums on the National Racing Calendar and the UCI Criterium Calendar.

Once again, the Series begins at one of the most insane criteriums in the country, the 32nd Annual Terrapin Twilight Criterium.  No other event defines American criterium racing quite like the Twilight with 30,000 spectators lining the .55 mile course in the heart of downtown Athens, GA.  A 5k run, amateur cycling races, a participation ride, and one of the largest kid's criteriums cap off a full weekend of events in the Classic City.

New to the Series this year, The Tour de Grove is the highest paying single-day race in Missouri and takes place in one of the fastest growing communities in the state - The Grove.  The Tour de Grove features a free full day of family events including competitive races for all levels, a 5k run, a US Handcycling race, children's events, street sprints and a Grove Expo. The event also features criterium racing on Friday and Sunday.

The Giro d' Grafton, stage 3 of the Tour of America's Dairyland presented by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, features six fast turns across its .85 mile spectator-lined course.  Racers will get smacked with the massive roar and frenzy of 15,000 screaming, barricade-pounding fans as they hit the long, flat finishing stretch for a wild final sprint.  The popular Mascot Race precedes the Men's Pro Race in Downtown Grafton, which transforms into a massive street festival for the day.

Cincinnati's Hyde Park Blast is part of an entire weekend of racing in Ohio. Seven races will be run in the evening on Hyde Park Square in front of 10,000 screaming fans, with the Men's Pro/1/2 event finishing under the lights.  Since its inception in 2001, more than $200,000 has been raised and donated to various charities.

One of the founding events of the USA CRITS Championship Series, the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium has become one of the most popular cycling events in the Northeast, growing in size and importance year after year.  The day-long festival features possibly the largest kids criterium in America with 500 kids participating in 2010. The event culminates with the Women's and Men's Pro criteriums in front of 10,000 fans.

Started in 1987 as a grassroots effort to create a premier cycling event that would attract more participants to the sport, the Boise Twilight Criterium provides an enjoyable family-oriented event for the community, while also attracting the best in the sport.  The electric atmosphere and fast-paced, high-stakes drama draws more than 20,000 spectators to downtown Boise each year.

Boasting one of the largest prize purses in the country for a one-day event and 40,000+ spectators, it's no wonder that the Presbyterian Invitational Criterium is a favorite among the best criterium riders.  This event benefits the Brain Tumor Fund of the Carolinas (BFTC) and has raised more than $4 million dollars for The BTFC since the race's inception in 2006.

The Evanston Grand Prix is new to the Series in 2011, but it is a well-established event in this vibrant Chicago suburb - featuring a full schedule of pro and amateur racing, kid's events, an Expo Area, and family-friendly entertainment. Almost 20,000 fans gather in outdoor cafes around Evanston's downtown to watch cyclists from all over the country and overseas navigate a tight, technical, and exciting course in their quest for $25,000 in prizes.

Now in its 28th year, the Chris Thater Memorial was founded in 1983 by Jim May in honor of his friend Chris Thater, a cyclist, who was killed after being hit by a drunk driver.  The Chris Thater Memorial also includes a national class 5K run and music festival that benefits Broome County's Stop-DWI's mission to improve highway safety through the prevention of drunk driving.

The Series will end Sunday, October 2nd at the Capital Criterium presented by the Washington Convention and Sports Authority, which races down the world-renown Presidential inauguration route framed by the U.S. Capitol Building.  The CapCrit p/b WCSA provides a fitting finale on a world-class stage to crown the best criterium racers in America.



2011 Schedule

Terrapin Twilight Criterium Athens, GA April 30, 2011
Tour de Grove St. Louis, MO May 14, 2011
Giro d' Grafton Grafton, WI June 18, 2011
Hyde Park Blast (Men Only) Cincinnati, OH June 25, 2011
Iron Hill Twilight Criterium West Chester, PA July 9, 2011
Boise Twilight Criterium (Men Only) Boise, ID July 16, 2011
Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Charlotte, NC July 30, 2011
Evanston Grand Prix Evanston, IL August 21, 2011
Chris Thater Memorial Binghamton, NY August 27-28, 2011
Capital Criterium Washington, DC October 2, 2011

 


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