Editor’s note: I wrote the following article for our sister site The Bike Geek — and a day later we experienced some technical difficulties with that site that are still being resolved. In the meantime, I wanted to share coverage of this exciting event that took place during Florida’s Bike Month — the very first criterium-style race ever held in downtown Tampa.
The City of Tampa played host to some exciting racing action last weekend…The Tampa Twilight Criterium. Sponsored by the Tampa Downtown Partnership, local bike shops and WAM Events, this day-long event was a blast!
Although I had to work on Saturday, I was lucky in that the race course was mere blocks from my workplace. I was able to catch the action before work, at lunch and for an hour or so after work. Come with me as I share photos of the races and the health and wellness festival that took place in Lykes Gaslight Square in the heart of the race course.
Race sponsor Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium brought their rolling full-service bike shop to the event:
The health and wellness festival was well-attended…massages, bicycle advocacy groups, the Tampa Bay Bicycle Co-op and food were on offer:
The Tampa Downtown Partnership even had free bicycle valet parking for the event, a nice touch!
For the womens’ race, we caught The Bike Geek/Bikecommuters.com friend Lily Richeson lining up for her event. She’s number 231, and she placed in the top 20 in her category:
(photo by Lisa Hickman of the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club)
Here’s a pack of juniors and Cat. 5s blazing down the course:
Part of the technically-challenging course went down Franklin Street in the heart of downtown…those bricks were tough to keep traction on, and there were several wipeouts at the turns onto and off the bricks:
Some high-speed action:
The Cat. 2/3s in pack formation:
And another action shot as the Cat. 2/3s take a high-speed corner heading toward Ashley Drive (University of Tampa’s “Plant Hall” in the background:
It was a great event…hundreds of racers and thousands of spectators throughout the day. Let’s hope this becomes an annual tradition during Florida’s Bike Month!