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Friday, July 27, 2012

Let's all get to the Crit...

There are lots of things to do this weekend in the Milford area; however, only one is a must see spectator event – The Milford Crit. Milford is fortunate to be hosting its fourth Criterium on the streets downtown and through Central Park. Criteriums (Crits for short) are high speed bike races that are usually held on relatively short tracks in urban settings. Crits are very big in Europe and are gaining favor here, since they give the spectators more of a chance to see the riders and the race progressing than longer road courses. They also allow the spectators to walk the course and see the race from various different views. The Milford Crit course is .92 miles and laid out along the entire downtown area – to see the course map, click here.

Crits involve high speed s and the occasional big wreck at sharp corners as everyone in the pack tries to get the best position for the turn. The race usually involves a big pack of riders, with perhaps an occasional break-away boy one or a few riders. There is drafting involved and lots of strategy by the riders. Then there is the sprint to the finish, which is sort of like the last lap of a close NASCAR race.  All the while, the spectators are only a few feet away from the activity, so you get great views of all of the action.

The event will also have various cycling vendors setting up shop to sell cycling clothing and bicycle racing parts. There will be refreshment stations, too. The event will kick off with three fun races for kids in three age groups. The younger kids will race down Main St. The older kids ( 11 to 14 years old) will get to make a lap of the actual race course. All kids who race must wear a CPSC bicycle helmet and there will be a waiver to sign. Click here for more details on the kids race. There’s even a Healthy Lifestyles Expo on Main Street in the CarQuest Parking lot, presented by DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, with representatives from various health and fitness clubs, local bike shops, and even a Farmer’s Market.

The Milford Crit is special again this year because it is also the Michigan State Championship for Criterium riders. There are over $5,900 in prizes for the winners of various classes and races. The race is presented by the Huron Valley Athletic Club and is held under a permit from the US Cycling organization. So come on out to Milford on Sunday for some exciting bicycle racing. For all of the information about this must see event, click here to go to their Web site. Your mantra for this weekend should be “Let’s all git to the Crit.”

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