Capitol City Crit

Capitol City Crit

By: DJ Kramer Comments: 0

The boring definition of a Criterium bicycle race goes as such: A criterium is a mass start, multi-lap event contested on a closed course where laps are typically a mile or less and include 4-6 corners. Racers do a pre-determined number of laps or race for a pre-determined amount of time - usually 30 to 90 minutes.


To boil it down into an easy to understand visualization, crit racing is the NASCAR of cycling. Racers will come in with a pre-determined strategy, to blow up their opponents, only to find out 3 laps in that plans are going to require some adaptation. As for most races, there are numerous variables which you can’t account for every time. You have to be ready to make quick decisions while on course or you will get dropped, and if you get lapped by the lead group you are out.


This makes signing up in the proper category super important if you want to enjoy the race. For this first year of the CCC (Capitol City Crit) we will have two categories for men and women. An A category for those who can maintain at least 20 mph over an hour-long ride. The B category will be for those who can maintain anywhere from 13-18 mph over an hour-long ride.


Just like in road racing and group riding, drafting is a big part of Crit racing. Being comfortable riding in a tight group is key. The advantages of riding in a group are huge. You will be expending too much energy riding on your own in order to keep up with a group, unless you know your limits are more than your competitors and you want to create a gap for them to try and close.


The risk of crashing is always the number one hesitation for people wanting to try a Crit race for the first time. The best way to prepare for this type of event is to practice cornering and riding in a group setting. You are always responsible for your front wheel. That means if you start to ride up along side the racer in front of you and they decide to swerve to dodge a pothole or another rider in front of them, you need to be ready to move out of the way. Do not expect anyone to be aware of where you are at behind them. Just remember, you are responsible for your front wheel! As long as you are staying aware of what’s happening in front of you and making predictable movements, you should feel confident in having a safe race.


We are particularly excited to host our first crit race, let me explain why. It’s been several years since Bismarck has seen a crit race. The United Tribes Technical College hosted one for many years at their campus and it was always a great event. Before that, another group also held a crit race at the Capitol grounds where we are heading back to this year. We believe there is no better space for a race like this than at the Capitol grounds. The east side of the loop has a slight incline, and the west side of the loop a slight descent so you get a little rest on each lap. With an oval loop that is exactly a half mile long, and plenty of space for spectators on the lawn inside the loop; for racers and spectators alike, this is going to be our most exciting and engaging race in our series! If you’re interested in giving this a try, you can find all the registration details here. We understand that this race might not be for everyone, but we can guarantee that it will be fun to watch! So, grab your cowbell, and come hang out on the capitol lawn to cheer on the cyclists!


Races like the Capitol City Crit would not be possible without the help of our amazing sponsors! We have five Platinum Level Sponsors that have stepped up to support all of our 2023 races, they have become an integral part of our events and we hope that you will support them as they do the cycling community! We are also excited to have Sticker Mule joining us for the 2023 CCC providing custom stickers for all participants.




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