Interview with University Hill Race Promoter

[303Cycling]: The Uni Hill Criterium was last produced in 2003, with roots stemming back to the Coors Classic. What was the motivation for bringing it back 8 years later?

Back in February I was invited to sit in on a Boulder Special Events Task Force. Basically it was a panel of area race directors brought together to address current and potential issues facing Boulder County/City roads and the growing numbers of events. At the meeting one of the City employees mentioned how much she loved the Uni Hill Criterium back in the day. Ask any race director and rarely do you have a municipality saying how much they love you shutting down their roads. I smirked, looked over at a smiling Jon Tarkington across the table, and asked, “Jon,
any dates open in May?” Word spread quickly and within a few weeks we started to realize how loved this event was back in the day. As Boulder County’s population grew in the 90’s you saw iconic events like the Morgul or North Boulder fade away. Logistics and costs were skyrocketing, while sponsorship dollars dwindled. When Superior brought back the Morgul last year it got us thinking about some of the other favorite courses.

[303Cycling]: What makes the The Sink University Hill Crit so special?
There’s nothing wrong with an industrial park criterium. Look at Louisville Crit; great venue, fun course, and smooth roads. However, when you’re able to move the action into the center of a city the pulse of the event quickens. Just look at North Boulder Crit or DBC’s Boulder Cup, you had spectators out there who might not event ride a bike themselves, but cheering like crazy.

What really makes the The Sink Uni Hill Crit special is the course. The figure eight style course has it all; some long power stretches, fast paced corners, and deceivingly hard inclines. The length is 1.5k, but with twisty and hilly nature it rides much longer, and has plenty of opportunities for breakaways.

[303Cycling]: Without Limits Productions is known for triathlon events, why the jump to cycling?
Even though we started 4 years ago producing triathlons our backgrounds were a mixture of; BMX, road cycling, cyclocross, as well as triathlon. While at its core I’ll always preach that “an event is an event”, each discipline has its own unique elements. I personally feel more production companies should at least study other sporting events. When we created CYCLO X (cyclocross) 2 years there were elements we brought over from the triathlon world. And now in 2011 a lot of event elements from road racing and cyclocross we’ll
carry back over into the triathlon world.

[303Cycling]: What are the goals short term and long term for the The Sink Uni Hill Criterium?
The goal in the short term is to pull off a smooth event. As you can imagine the logistics behind this criterium are much more involved. If you live on the course and happen to be reading this, move your car or I’ll be driving through with a tow truck!

Overall we couldn’t do this event without the support of our title sponsor The Sink! They’ve been so supportive and are so excited to see cycling action return to their front door. They’ll be running specials all day long, so whether you just finished racing or your spectating be sure to stop in for a beer and the best burger in Boulder.

Long term the goal is much larger in scope. We all watch the grand tours on Versus wondering what it would be like to race for 3 weeks on end. Well, the real world and job get in the way, so the most we can hope for is 3 days of action. So come on out, support this first year, and keep
a lookout for The Sink Uni Hill Crit to be 1 piece of a larger event in years to come.

News Item: