The racing calendar is heating up. This weekend, teams will have to make decisions as to where to send their squads as the USA Crits Speedweek starts with the Athens Twilight Crit on Saturday and the NRC finally continues with the Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling on Sunday in California and the SRAM Tour of the Gila in New Mexico starts on Wednesday.
The 2009 USA CRITS Speed Week, with a purse of $80,000 purse for the men’s and $35,000 for the women’s, is a seven races, in seven cities, in seven days showdown in the Southeast of the United States. Last year, the unstoppable Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) took the overall by winning 4 crits, and placing in the top 10 for the remaining 2 races, and Mark Hekman (then riding for TOSHIBA-Santo) repeated his overall win by placing consistently in the top 20 of 6 of the 7 races.
On Saturday evening, the raucous 30th Annual Athens Twilight Criterium kicks off both the 2009 USA Crits Speed Week & National Series. In a weekend that includes a Jazz Festival, students participating in chariot racesm cyclists competing in Computrainer Grid Qualifiers presented by Georgia Cycle Sport, the party comes to Athens, Georgia. The races are hotly contested on a closed, 1-kilometer course near the University of Georgia, the men compete for 80 kilometers and the women for 40 kms.
On Sunday April 26, is the 8th Annual Historic Roswell Criterium where the man face 80 minutes and the women 55 minutes on the 1-mile flat and fast course with 5 left hand turns and one steady gradient hill of 3% on the backside.
The next three races take place in South Carolina. The third race on Tuesday April 28 is the Beaufort Memorial Criterium raced on .6-mile course in Beaufort, the “Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands”. Midway through the series is the Downtown Walterboro Criterium on Wednesday followed by the Downtown Spartanburg Classic on Friday May 1st.
The final two races are the Dilworth Criterium in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Global BMW Sandy Springs Criterium in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The Dilworth Crit on May 2nd is a points-earning race for the Men’s Pro/1 Invitational 2 race only, and no points re given for the Women’s 1/2/3 race.
The 2009 USA Crits Speedweek Race Schedule
- Athens Twilight, Athens, GA, April 25
- Historic Roswell Criterium, Roswell, GA, April 26
- Beaufort Memorial Criterium, Beaufort, SC, April 28
- Downtown Walterboro Criterium, Walterboro, SC, April 29
- Downtown Spartanburg Classic, Spartanburg, SC, May 1
- Dilworth Criterium, Charlotte, NC May 2
- Global BMW Sandy Springs Criterium, Sandy Springs, GA, May 3