FARMINGTON – With two wheels and the right course, you can ride like the wind.
Local cyclists have a chance to do just that at the Station Park Criterium, set for today, July 10, at 7 p.m. at Station Park. The race, which is being held in conjunction with Farmington Festival Days, is for riders looking for something a little more intense than the Family Bike Race scheduled earlier in the evening.
“This is kind of an outgrowth,” said race promoter Tyler Servoss, who has also organized the family race for the last several years. “We wanted to bring in something for the weekend racing crowd.”
Unlike longer-distance races that test a cyclist’s endurance, a criterium is held on a short course that is usually less than a mile long. The challenging aspect is that the race is held on closed-off downtown city streets Р or in this case, the streets through station park Р that require racers to ride several laps and deal with repeated tight turns.
“Cyclists need the ability to corner safely and deal with constant speed changes,” said Servoss. “They slow down into the turn, then speed out of the corner. It’s a little more of an advanced skill.”
The race starts at the Banditos Taqueria and is divided into three flights, determined by the skill level of the participating cyclists. The easiest race begins at 7 p.m. and runs for a half hour, with a more challenging 45-minute race starting at 7:45 p.m. The most advanced race, which will run for an hour, starts at 8:35 p.m.
Though the course can pose a challenge for riders, it can be great for those watching the race.
“It’s very spectator-friendly,” said Servoss. “They’re doing laps, so you see riders every few minutes.”
Though the final winners of the event will receive either cash or prizes, depending on which flight a cyclist is participating in, the organizers plan to offer additional prizes to add some challenge to the individual laps.
“We’ll announce over the PA system that the person who wins the lap will get a prize,” said Servoss, mentioning a kayak or dinner at a Station Park restaurant as possible prizes. “It kind of livens things up.”
Cyclists looking for a gentler ride are welcome to participate in the family race, which begins July 10 at 5:30 p.m. in front of the taqueria. Though this race will also include children, it also has categories for teens and adults.
“We encourage everyone to come and take part,” said Servoss.
Registration for the criterium is $40 the day of the event, and can be done on-site Participants need a USA Cycling license in order to participate in the criterium, which can be purchased during registration for $15. A course map and details for each flight are available online at stationparkcrit.com.
Registration for the family race is $15 per bike, or $10 for kids 5 and under, and can be done from 5-5:20 p.m. the day of the race. A course map is available online at farmington.utah.gov/leisure_services.bikerace.html.
For more information about either race, call Servoss at 801-888-3233.