FORT COLLINS, CO - June 10, 2009 - Bicycle racing is coming to Old Town Fort Collins this summer. On June 2, the Fort Collins City Council approved an event permit that will grant its applicants the ability to use City-owned property to host a weekly bicycle criterium race. The result is the City Streets Crit, a cooperative effort to bring community-based bicycle racing to downtown Fort Collins.
Starting Tuesday June 16th, cycling enthusiasts of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to race their bikes on the tarmac of the City Streets Department just north of New Belgium Brewery at 625 Ninth Street. The 1km closed course offers plenty of room for riders to open it up. It also boasts an alley between two brick buildings, adding an Old Town feel to the venue.
The race series is being made possible by the cooperative efforts of The Fort Collins Velodrome Association (FCVA), FC Bikes (City of Fort Collins), Blacksheep Junior Cycling, The Cycologist bike shop and Ciclismo Racing, an elite amateur cycling team based in Fort Collins.
Dave "DK" Kemp, Bicycle Coordinator for the City of Fort Collins, expressed his delight with the joint effort. "The City of Fort Collins staff is excited to collaborate with FCVA & Ciclismo Racing on the City Streets Crit Race series. One of the recommendations from the 2008 Bike Plan specifies the support and promotion of competitive bicycle sporting events in Fort Collins."
Kemp also praised the unique use of the City asset, "Our local event organizers identified the Streets Department facility as a prime venue to host a series of bike races due to its downtown location and size of the enclosed facility." Whereas, the Streets Department facility is not commonly used for Special Events, Kemp noted, "Considerations were made by the Fort Collins City Council."
Tim Anderson, with the Fort Collins Velodrome Association, identified the site. Anderson has a passion for cycling and an eye for cycling venues. Last year Anderson organized the CSU Oval races (which begin again Sunday July 12) in an effort to bring community-based racing to downtown Fort Collins. "The FCVA exists to promote, develop and facilitate 'bicycling as sport' in Fort Collins", Anderson said.
Anderson predicts, "This race series will demonstrate the value and simplicity of a weekly criterium on a closed course near Downtown. It's success will encourage our leaders to consider a more permanent dedicated facility for all types of bicycle racing in a City park."
Andy Clark, Director of Sport for Ciclismo Racing, and Ryan Scalva of The Cycologist bike shop both echoed Anderson's passion for the new race series. "The amount of enthusiasm we have seen from our community for this event just goes to show how much cycling really is a way of life in Fort Collins," Clark said, while Scalva noted, "I feel we are bringing people in the community closer to the sport and closer together."
The race promoters are encouraging everyone to ride to the race and spectators are welcome. Kids races are free and adult races are $10. Racing starts June 16 at 6pm.