New York and Atlantic City follow West Chester’s lead in the fast and furious world of US CRITS bike racing
Over the years, criterium bike racing has thrived in the Mid-Atlantic states. Some of the greatest examples of the genre have taken place there. So, it’s not surprising that there will be three full-throttled criteriums in the region this year as part of the 11-race USA CRITS Championship Series: Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic in NYC on June 15, Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic in West Chester, PA on August 11, and the series finals at The Resurgence in Atlantic City, NJ on September 15.
Maybe it’s the speed, the rush of the wind, and the whirl of wheels. Maybe it’s the boisterous announcers, the intense music, and the ringing of cow bells. Maybe it’s the crashes, the sprints, and the amped-up visceral magic of bike racing. Maybe it’s because it’s so American. Whatever it is, it’s real, it’s crazy, and it’s the most unadulterated form of speed cycling known to humankind. Thousands of spectators throughout the Philadelphia-New York metroplex will be geared up for this unique form of American-style bike racing.
“We are really excited to have three great venues on tap for this year’s USA CRITS Championship Series right in the middle of the East Coast Metroplex,” commented Gene Dixon, President of Swagger, LLC, producer of the series. “Each venue is renowned for the criterium racing legacy: challenging courses that showcase arts and entertainment with broad community support.”
Having been part of the USA CRITS series since its inception in 2006, the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic is one of the original criteriums in the series, while the Harlem/NYC and Atlantic City races are new to the USA CRITS race calendar this year. All three venues are within 120 miles of each other so avid followers of the sport can see all three.
Now in its 45th year, The Colavita-Bialetti Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic in New York City can boast of not only being the oldest of the three Mid-Atlantic races, but of the whole USA CRITS Championship Series, having been founded in 1973 by a former New York police officer. Co-sponsored by an Italian extra-virgin olive oil company and an Italian cookware manufacturer, the race is routed around Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park between 120th and 124th streets.
Sponsored by the Benchmark Federal Credit Union, the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic is the last Mid-Atlantic Race before the finals. As one of the original USA CRITS races, the West Chester event enters its 13th season as one of the most popular events on the calendar among professional men and women riders thanks to the challenging course, adoring fans and charming historic setting.
“With its tree-lined streets, quaint shops and fine restaurants, West Chester makes for a great weekend day trip any time of the year,” says Mark Yoder, President of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, the organizer of the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic. “But when the hundreds of top riders are here ready to race, the excitement is non-stop!”
Labor Day will find this year’s USA CRITS Championship Series ending as far east as possible when Atlantic City hosts the Finals for the first time. As the climactic conclusion to the 3-day Atlantic City Resurgence Fest, The USA CRITS Championship Series Finals will bring twenty of America’s elite men’s and women’s cycling teams – and hundreds of riders! – to this historic beach town, all fervently ready to compete for the series-ending purse, a one-day prize list of $50,000 and a start/finish line on the historic Steel Pier overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
For those who want to keep up with the complete championship series, USA CRITS is now offering a pay-per-view and an annual streaming service at USACRITS.tv for all criterium races that make up this year’s USA CRITS Champion Series.
About the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic:
The Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic takes place on the streets of downtown West Chester, PA. The iconic event offers a wide range of exciting racing action and family-focused festivities that include the Iron Hill Twilight Pro Men’s Criterium, Brumbaugh Wealth Management Pro Women’s Criterium, Rothman Institute Amateur Criterium, West Chester Dental Arts Kids’ Race, Tolsdorf Trike Challenge, Community Festival and Kids’ Zone.
For more information on the day’s events: www.GreaterWestChester.com
Visit the “NEWS” page to stay up-to-date with current News, Information and Press Releases about the Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic.
Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic, sponsored by Benchmark Federal Credit Union is a day of fun and excitement for the entire family beginning at 3:30pm with the West Chester Dental Arts Kids’ Race. Sign up your children to participate in a series of age-determined sprints for children between 3 to 10. At 4:00pm the Kids’ Zone and Community Festival open with a great choice of family-friendly activities. Next up, 4:30pm finds adult-sized tricycles taking over Gay Street for the Tolsdorf Trike Challenge, a double-elimination adult tag-team tricycle relay race. The excitement continues to build, first with the Rothman Institute Amateur Criterium at 5:45pm (Trials at 8:00am at Bayard Rustin High School), followed by the Brumbaugh Wealth Management Pro Women’s Criterium at 6:45pm, culminating at 8pm with the Iron Hill Pro Men’s Criterium. #WCBikeRace
About Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, located in the heart of Chester County, PA is a membership based not-for-profit organization providing resources, advocacy and educational opportunities to help local businesses and entrepreneurs build relationships, promote their business, grow their network, address their most serious business challenges and become an integral part of the community. www.GreaterWestChester.com
About USA CRITS:
Now in its 12th year, the USA CRITS Championship Series has brought the thrill of bike racing to some of North America’s most flourishing downtown districts. It’s a unique opportunity to get a close look at both world and national champion-level athletes, while they navigate the intricacies of a closed circuit course at high speeds, right in the heart of a vital urban setting. www.USACRITS.com