Bike Criterium Race
Time & Location
About the Event
Everything You Need to Know
A criterium is a lapped race on a closed circuit set in cities. Laps are usually a half-mile to 1.5 miles long, typically with 4-6 turns. Total race distance is usually 15 miles (beginner) to 60 miles (professional); approximately 25 minutes to 1 hour 55 minutes.
At the end, first rider/team across the line wins. Top finishers get prizes. Don’t worry, races are graded from beginner (Category 5) to professional (Category 1), so you’re equally matched. Like a video game, each level gets faster and longer as you progress.
The roller coaster feeling of zipping through turns in a pack is addictive, but the best part of racing is the atmosphere. You’ll find food trucks, beer gardens, family-friendly lawns and viewing areas, and music at most events. Compact courses make for easy viewing of the whole race, and there’s always someone willing to dog-watch while you rip a few laps.
Unlike a road race in the middle of nowhere, where slower riders are left out by themselves, every crit rider can keep going as long as the race is running. Plus, events are often staged in accessible neighborhoods (civilization!) with postrace chow spots.