GREAT RACING, CLOSE UP AND CONTINUOUS ALL DAY, TOGETHER WITH GREAT FOOD, DRINK AND MUSIC.
Criteriums or crits. They’re a staple of the local racing scene in Australia, the U.S., the UK and in many other places around the world. These frenetic races of roughly an hour to an hour and a half are raced on closed roads but racing a ‘crit’ is very different to taking part in a road race.
The style of racing is different, the fitness requirements are different, and the tactics are different. The races are shorter, faster, more technical and, depending on who you ask, a lot more fun.
Crit racing has been organised by the Birkenhead North End CC for over 30 years and many famous faces have raced its deceptively tough course. Pedalare Events are excited about working with them on our first pro-racing event.
THE SMALL PRINT
Criterium races (or crits, for short) are short, fast races held on closed loop courses usually between 0.5 and 2 miles in length. Crits differ from standard road races in that there is no fixed race distance. Instead, you race for a predetermined length of time…well, sort of. Here is how a crit works:
• The race starts off just like a standard road race – after the gun, the field will take off around the loop, jockeying for position, attacking, normal race stuff. Are we going to have these: The first distinguishing feature of crits are ‘primes’ – these are similar to intermediate sprint points in road races, but there are usually a lot more of them in crits.
• As the field loops past the start/finish line, a race official will ring a bell signifying the end of the next lap is a ‘prime’. Primes are often cash or merchandise prizes for whomever gets to the line first! Because they usually pop up every 5 minutes or so during the race, they tend to keep the pace fast and exciting.
• The end of the race is where crits are really different. In a normal road race, you always know exactly how far you are from the finish. Not so here.
• The end of a crit race isn’t determined until shortly before the race actually ends.
• While all the racing action is happening, race officials are monitoring how long each lap takes. Based on that, they will try to end the race close to the advertised duration of the race.
• At the appropriate point (usually 5-10 minutes before the end), they will ring a bell and display lap cards that tell the racers exactly how many laps are left until the finish. At this point, with a definite end in sight, the pace really heats up, and the racers typically have 3-5 laps to position themselves and prepare for the mad dash to the finish on the last lap!
PRO BIKE RACING RETURNS TO THE WIRRAL AFTER 50 YEARS
The Leverhulme Grand prix event builds on history of professional bike racing on the Wirral and in the park.The Birkenhead North End Cycling Club (BNECC) was founded on the 14th January 1901 and is the oldest (continually-running) cycling club on the Wirral (Merseyside, UK).
The Grand Prix will take place on the internal roadways of the park using 2 miles of traffic free tarmac. The Leverhulme Grand Prix for elite and cat 1/2 men will be 20 circuits (40 miles), along with the Bike Factory crit for cat 3-4 men. The Bikeline Circuit series for juniors and youth will do 5 circuits (10miles). The separate Women’s race will comprise 15 circuits (30 miles). British Cycling are also promoting a National series handcycle/para event at the crit.
The festival site, race HQ and start & finish of all races is in the Upper Park. The men will race clockwise around both parks (2miles). The Women only and Youth races have the same start finish line, but will race only on the Lower Park circuit (1.3miles). There is direct access from the HQ onto the Upper Park.
• Transponders & zip ties will be issued when signing on, please return them and your number afterwards!
• Results should be available on www.mylaps.com shortly after each race finishes.
• Spaces are available for entries on the line in all races.
• Changing facilities are available at the race HQ in Birkenhead Park Rugby Club. There is no parking available at the Rugby Club this year Please park on Park Rd North or on Ashville Rd
• Refreshments will be available on site, prizes will be presented after each race
• No licence….no ride.
• No helmet….no ride
For more information about the race please contact: