April 28/08 5:02 am - The Toronto Criterium is back at St. Lawrence Market
Posted by Editoress on 04/28/08
Professional Bike Racing Returns to Toronto
Professional cyclists are gearing up for Toronto's first downtown bike race in 10 years.*
The Toronto Criterium at St. Lawrence Market will take place Friday, May 30 on a road circuit in the city's historic St. Lawrence Market district. Many of Canada's top bike road racers are expected to compete. Race organizer Ziggy Martuzalski has already noticed overwhelming interest in the event from across Ontario, Quebec and the Great Lake States
Criterium races are popular in urban centres all over the world. They feature a short, looping course with sharp corners. Bike speeds can reach thigh-burning speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour. The frantic pace and tight corners make for an exciting spectator event.
The Toronto Criterium kicks off with a Children's Race at 5:45 pm. Anyone under 18 is welcome to participate. Competitive cycling begins at 6:00 pm with Masters level amateur races. The professional and elite athletes race at 7:30 pm. Each of the competitive races last for one and a half hours.
"I am ecstatic that we have been able to bring this classic event back to this beautiful and historic venue," says Councillor Adrian Heaps, Chair of the Toronto Cycling Committee adding, "This is a showcase event in our Bike Month activities; it is a sign that the City openly embraces cycling both as a sporting event as well as a vital mode of transportation ."
Racers can register for this Ontario Cycling Association sanctioned race at www.ontariocycling.org. The total value of prizes for the race is $20,000.
Spectators will also be able to browse the Bike Expo in Bercyz Park behind Toronto's historic Flat Iron Building where world class manufacturers and Toronto bike retailers such as Cervélo, Duke's, Toronto Trek Store, Racer Sportif, Skiies and Biikes, Sweet Pete's Bike Shop, KHS Bikes, Rocky Mountain Bikes, RB Inc, Velend Tech and Opus Bikes will be exhibiting the latest in bikes and bike related equipment.
The Criterium builds on Toronto's long heritage of bike racing. From 1894 to 1927, the City hosted the annual Dunlop Trophy Race, attracting North America's top competitors. Now the Criterium at St. Lawrence Market is poised to once again take over as Toronto's premier bike race.
For more information, please visit www.torontocriterium.com
*Editors note: May 30th 1998 the last race in downtown Toronto, the Toyota Queen's Park Grand Prix, was organized by Curt Harnett.