This is our 6th Annual event!
This year, the Tacoma Twilight Criterium is also the Masters Championship event in this discipline.
This is a WSBA and
To compete in categorized races, a racer must hold a license issued by one of these organizations. (one-day licenses are available for day-of registrants)
There will be open races for pretty much anyone, including kids!
By far, the most popular bicycle racing format in the United States is the
(sometimes called "Crit" for short).
This year's course is just over a mile long, so you'll see faster fields go by nearly every two minutes. There will be a series of events during the day in which competitors in different Categories take the course. (there will be one field on the course at a time).
Unlike the road race or multi-stage race, a 'crit' is typically held on a relatively short, often closed city street circuit course.
Crits are popular with spectators in part because the field comes into view many times, going very fast. Another thing that makes it such a fun format is that there are prizes (called primes, pronounced 'preems') for winning certain laps of the event. We'll have a live announcer, music on the P.A., and a generally fun atmosphere.
Success in a crit requires a lot of things: Riders are required to navigate within an often 60- person peloton at speeds of 35 mph or more on a course full of 90° city corners. This takes a lot of power, fitness, precision, situational awareness and some measure of luck.
During the race, you'll see riders drafting to conserve energy, and you'll also see groups or individuals breaking away in an attempt to deny others the advantage that comes with spending less energy. Of course, this means they'll be working just as hard as the lead elements of the main peloton, but with fewer riders to share the work. For this reason, it's rare to see large breakaways get away from the main peloton- the main group has a numbers advantage and incentive to control the race. You'll see all sorts of tactics and team strategies play out. Teams that have a rider in a breakaway may sit on the front of the rest of the pack to protect their leader, and some pelotons will unleash furious speeds to overtake a breakaway.
We recommend that you take the opportunity to walk around the course while a race is
in process. Watch the racer's lines as they dive into, thru and out of
corners (in a pack, no less). This is the most-dynamic part of the race, where 'interesting' things
are likely to happen.
As the pace increases the field will stretch out in to single line, and as the paces slows, riders bunch up, sometimes grabbing their brakes hard to slow down.
The riders on the front have the best view of the course, take the best lines, and seldom touch their brakes!
You don't have to understand all the subtleties of competitive cycling for this to be an exciting event. It's a spectacle unto itself.
The course is adjacent to the ever-popular
Proctor Farmer's Market
, many family-owned shops, restaurants and businesses.
The course, the atmosphere, the attractions of the Proctor Business District combine to make this event one of Washington State's premier bicycle racing events.