St. Pete is no stranger to its streets (and even waterways) being closed for big-time racing, and now another event is set to take over the town. St. Pete-based Orange Belt is set to host the CRIT Championship Tour, a high-speed, professional criterium bike race taking place this Saturday, October 21 in the heart of the EDGE District.
The all-day event will turn the entire district into a wet zone for the day, so people can grab drinks at participating bars/restaurants and are welcome to walk the district with them in EDGE branded plastic cups that will be provided. There are VIP tickets available, but the races are all free to attend for GA viewing, and guests are encouraged to grab food and drink from the EDGE District restaurants and bring them outside to enjoy during the races.
CRIT Championship transforms EDGE District into to-go drink “wet zone”
What to know:
- When: Saturday, October 21 – festivities begin at 8:15 am, with amateur races beginning at noon, and the two pro races beginning consecutively at 4:15 pm, the Women’s Pro Race followed by the Men’s Pro Race at 5:50 pm.
- Where: The tight race course runs on Central Avenue and 1st Avenue North from 11th Street to 15th Street. The entire EDGE District will be home to the festivities, and all drinks can be taken anywhere in the area.
- Attendance: The CRIT Championship and its grounds are family-friendly, and there is no cost for attendance. Some VIP seating is available at the turns. Parking is available at Tropicana Field in the paid parking lots, and attendees are encouraged to ride the SunRunner and/or walk, ride a bike, or take a scooter to the neighborhood.
- More festival events: In addition to the two pro races, there will be several amateur heats throughout the day, a free FUNdo group ride, yoga in the morning, a local market, specials at area shops and restaurants, and a huge skateboarding event at Green Bench Brewing Co. in the evening.
- Volunteer: The Championship is also looking for volunteers, each of whom will receive a free Vuori Tech Shirt and complimentary food/beverages throughout the day
The CRIT Championship Tour is the brainchild of renowned professional cyclist Justin Williams, and the national lineup of championship events is designed to ignite the most inclusive and electrifying atmosphere in racing by embracing the unique cultures of each venue. These closed-circuit races take place throughout multiple laps on tight-knit courses, creating a spectacle of speed. This will be the first CRIT event in St. Pete.
Alongside the heart-pounding racing action, attendees can immerse themselves in a festival-like ambiance, complete with delectable food, refreshing drinks, live music, and even a skate expo. This event will also shine a spotlight on local arts and culture, aiming to draw new audiences and showcase American cycling in a grand fashion. Spectators can enjoy the race for free, with limited VIP and GA+ seating options available for pre-sale.
CRIT Championship Tour hopes to make Tampa Bay Florida’s center for cycling
“This is a two-year passion project turned into reality, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring this event to St. Pete,” said Orange Belt’s Michael Rideout. “We believe our local community is going to be blown away by the high-speed racing on urban city streets.”
The EDGE District, renowned for its eclectic mix of local businesses, including boutiques, restaurants, bars, and entertainment, will serve as the backdrop for this high-speed urban cycling spectacle.
Nathan Stonecipher, another key figure at Orange Belt, expounded on that vision: “Our aim was simply to provide another avenue to showcase our beautiful city to a global audience and highlight the incredible cycling culture we have in Florida. We’re grateful to be part of a region where city and county leadership, along with our neighborhoods, residents, corporate partners, and business owners, see the value in embracing new experiences.”
“Anyone not into cycling or criterium racing is going to be blown away by the pace of the action and the speed of the bikes,” Stonecipher added.
For the story on how this race came to be or to become a local sponsor, visit Orange Belt at theorangebelt.co, and follow them on facebook and on instagram. To learn more about this Saturday’s event visit critchampionship.com.