A criterium, or crit, is a bike race held on a short course (usually less than 1 mile), often run on closed-off city center streets.
Race length can be determined by a number of laps or total time, in which case the number of remaining laps is calculated as the race progresses. Generally the event's duration (commonly one hour) is shorter than that of a traditional road race — which can last many hours, sometimes over the course of several days or even weeks, as in a Grand Tour. However, the average speed and intensity are appreciably higher. The winner is the first rider to cross the finish line without having been "lapped."
Events often have prizes (called primes, pronounced "preems", and are usually cash) for winning specific intermediate laps (for instance, every 10th lap). A bell is usually rung to announce to the riders that whoever wins the next lap, wins the prime.
Success in road criteriums requires a mix of good technical skills — in particular, the ability to corner smoothly while "holding your line" on the road, as well as rapidly and sharply — and riding safely with a large group on a short circuit and exceptional "sprint" ability to attack other riders and repeatedly accelerate hard from corners.
Criteriums are relatively easy to organize, do not require a large amount of space, and are good for live spectators as they allow them to see the riders pass by many times. They are the most common type of bicycle racing in the continental United States.
Criterium Nationals gets me more excited than any other criterium we do all year.
- Eric Young
2013 US Crit National Champion
This year, MIVA is proud to present the Coal City Cycles CRITERIUM SERIES which will pit riders against one another all summer long every Tuesday night on Boxwood Rd. Riders compete for points per race with the series winners being announced at the end of August.
Come join us at the race, or afterwards at the Longwood Brewpub to enjoy in some much earned refreshments.