The MVP Health Care Rochester Twilight Criterium will return to downtown Rochester on May 11 for a fifth consecutive year.
The event is part of USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour, and will feature top male and female athletes from across the U.S. and around the world.
“Since starting this event is 2004, it has been a joy to see it evolve to the highest level of professional criteriums in the U.S., hosted right here in Rochester,” said Scott Page, owner of Full Moon Vista Bike and Sport.
A criterium is an American-style bike race that highlights the athletes’ bike-handling skills combined with speed. This USA Cycling-sanctioned race is a nine-corner course, one of 11 Pro Road Tour criteriums in the U.S. The prize purse for men and women’s races equal $12,000.
“The MVP Health Care Rochester Twilight Criterium brings the world’s top cyclists and thousands of spectators to Rochester each year for an exciting day of races and activities for people of all ages,” said Denise Gonick, CEO and director of MVP Health Care. “This event highlights the importance of creating a healthy community for our members through sport and exercise.”
This year’s schedule includes a big wheel kids race in collaboration with the Strong National Museum of Play. A smaller, modified course will be set up at the finish line for kids to ride and race on big wheel bikes. Kids bikes and helmets will be available for use. The city of Rochester will host the Little Kids and Big Rigs event, where up to 20 vehicles will be on-hand for kids to explore. This includes police cars, fire trucks, SWAT vehicles, an ambulance, dump trucks, construction equipment and RTS buses. Both events are free and start at 2 p.m. on the Broad Street Bridge.
Additional events include the third annual Rochester Mile with 1-mile races for elite and amateur runners. The elite runners will hit the streets with the hopes of breaking course records and capitalizing on the equal $2,500 purses.
“Come for the trucks and stay for the bikes,” Mayor Lovely Warren said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for families to spend time together and enjoy hours of free activities, including getting close to real fire trucks and construction vehicles. Then, stay and enjoy world-class bike racing at the Twilight Criterium.”
Among the teams competing at the Criterium are the six-person all-Australian women’s team, Roxsolt Attaquer, including 19-year-old national champion Sarah Gigante and 11-time national champion Peta Mullens. Also competing will be Hong Kong registered UCI Continental team, X Speed United, which will send an eight-person men’s team from Australia, Hong Kong and Canada, along with additional racers from the Canadian development squad, National Cycling Centre Hamilton.
Calling the races throughout the day will be announcers Richard Fries and Frankie Andreu. The Rohrbach’s beer garden will be open from 2 to 11p.m., along 11 food trucks. Visit rochestercrit.com for information.