Time trials, criteriums, circuit races and road races are bicycle races, but they're all significantly different from one another. Each event presents a different challenge. A time trial is an individual event that is based purely on how long it takes the athlete to get from point A to point B. A criterium is an amazing form of racing that features repeated loops of relentlessly high paced action on an approximate 1-mile course. A road race is the longest portion of the event, typically spanning 80 to 120 miles, and starts and finishes at different locations. A circuit race is like a longer criterium course that runs more like a road race with distances around 80 miles. Circuit races offer the diversity of a point to point race with the advantages of seeing the racers several times in addition to the start.
CRITERIUM – EXCITEMENT
Criteriums are much shorter than a typical road race and as a result, all the excitement is packed into a shorter amount of time. Extremely technical, high speed and repeated corners every few seconds makes for two hours of the most intense racing imaginable.
TIME TRIAL – PURE SPEED
Racers start from a raised stage and roll down a ramp to gain speed as quickly as possible. The athletes start in one minute intervals and race against the clock for what will hopefully be the fastest time of the day. This event is all about horsepower and speed. Aerodynamics and making no mistakes are key in this individual event.
ROAD RACE – ENDURANCE
There is an unwritten law that most road race courses must present racers with terrain that automobiles find challenging. Long distances are common, sometimes over 120 miles, and team tactics, drafting, attacks and domestiques are just a few of the strategies that come into play. Attemped breakaways and massive sprints at the finish are commonplace in the most traditional type of road racing.
CIRCUIT RACE – PART CRITERIUM / PART ROAD RACE
Circuit races provide spectators the opportunity to view a longer road race from several vantage points in addition to the finish and they allow the riders to become familiar with an area’s particular terrain and features. Circuit races are very popular around the world and in fact are the format for the World Championships and Olympic games due to their viewer friendly and rider challenging characteristics.
Spectators must obey the direction of law enforcement and course marshals! Please use designated crosswalks when crossing the street. These cyclists are traveling at speeds faster than 30 mph and it is imperative that all spectators stay off the course at all times.
RAIN OR SHINE?
Absolutely! Bicycle racing gets even more exciting in the rain! And you don't travel all the way from Russia just to sleep in the hotel!
ADULTS ONLY OR A FAMILY EVENT?
Our cycling events are definitely family oriented. Each year, event management receives a multitude of emails from spectators telling what a wonderful experience their family had. And kids absolutely love to watch the pros fly at all the events!
WHAT DOES KING OF THE MOUNTAINS MEAN?
Specific to road races, King of the Mountains - or KOM is a classification given to the best climber. Points are awarded and accumulated throughout the event.
HOW DO THESE PROFESSIONALS RACE AT NIGHT?
With the City street lights and a little help from some auxiliary lighting, the professional athletes adjust their eyes to the lower light levels and "hit the turbos"! They actually start racing before the sun sets and continue into the darkness, giving them ample time to get accustomed to the course and make the necessary adjustments to irregularities in the terrain, like sewer grates and manhole covers. Very exciting to say the least!
HOW DO THE PROFESSIONAL TEAMS COMPETE?
The same as an individual does. Everyone races together at the same time, the teams just have more riders to help ensure that one of the teammates has a chance to win.
There is a lot of strategy involved in road racing, some of the athletes on the team are designated to “help” the faster athletes or better sprinters to ensure a win for the team.
Everywhere! At criteriums, most spectators walk the course in reverse of the racers to see the action from as many different locations as possible. Every inch of the course is great to watch from, so find your favorite spot! And at the high speeds the pros compete at, you get to see the action every two minutes as the leaders fly by!