Hed: Cycling action all day in Breck | SummitDaily.com

Hed: Cycling action all day in Breck

Shauna Farnell

BRECKENRIDGE – The cycling action in Breckenridge Saturday begins long before the Saturn Classic racers arrive from Boulder. Breck will be abuzz with cycling hype all day long with criterium races, recreational rides and sports expositions.

The Saturn Cycling Classic, now in its third year, not only provides top American cyclists with lots of national exposure, but it inadvertently draws the eyes of millions of nationwide ESPN viewers to the Town of Breckenridge. Before the Classic racers arrive at 4:30 p.m., a Summit tour rec ride will depart from Breck at 7:30 a.m., a sports expo will kick off at 10 a.m. and criterium racing will begin at 11:30 a.m.

“It’s the biggest race in Colorado,” Jen Radueg, marketing director for the Breckenridge Resort Chamber, said of the Classic race. “And as far as competition, it’s unreal. We’re really excited to have events going on all day in Breckenridge.”

Much like the Classic race, which organizers dub, “the toughest one-day race on earth,” the criterium races are no easy task either.

Several roads will be closed throughout the day Saturday in the Town of Breck for crit racing, which will include category 3 and 4 men’s events, a junior race and an all-women’s race.

“It’s a little more of a challenging loop than we normally see in a crit,” said Frisco cyclist Tim Faia, who took fourth in the Saturn cat 3 men’s crit last year, and will compete in the 2002 event Saturday. “There’s no flat, really. You’re either going up or down. From Main Street to Ridge, you’re climbing or descending, and French Street is uphill. It tends to thin the field. The rises hurt those flatlanders quite a bit. It’s a great course.”

After racing this weekend, Faia will have enough points to bump up to Cat 2 status, and will compete in the Classic race next year.

“It will be a lot of fun to shoot for that,” he said. “It will be an honor just to be at the starting line, whether or not I make it all the way to Breck in the time limit.”

The Cat 4 men’s crit begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. The Cat 3 men’s crit follows at 12:30 p.m., with a juniors crit kicking off at 1:45 p.m., and the featured women’s event beginning at 2:45 p.m. The men and women’s events will run for 45 minutes on a 0.6-mile loop through Main Street, Jefferson, Lincoln, Ridge and French streets. The women’s race will be conducted in a miss and out format, where lapped riders will be eliminated throughout the race until the final two riders remain.

Registration for all criterium races and information on the rec rides and sports expo will be available at the Riverwalk Center tent beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. For more information, visit http://www.saturncyclingclassic.com.

Breckenridge Saturn Cycling road closures Saturday:

2 a.m. to 6 p.m. Riverwalk parking lot closed to public

6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Main Street closed between Adams and Lincoln

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. North Main Street Closed between Lincoln/Ski

Hill and Wellington

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Criterium Course Closed to Traffic. Cross traffic will be allowed briefly between races on Washington, Adams, Ridge and French Streets at approximately 12:20, 1:20, 2:20 and 3:30 p.m.

The King’s Crown area is the designated warm-up area for the Nicole

Reinhart Criterium racers. Please use caution when driving around King’s Crown Road, Four O’ Clock Road and the Primrose Street loop.

Due to downtown street closures, alternate parking for Saturday will be available at the French lot on French St. between Lincoln and Washington, the Klack Placer lot on French St. between Jefferson and Breckenridge, F-Lot on South Park Ave., Wellington Lot on Main Street across from The Wellington Inn, East Sawmill Lot and at the Sawmill and Watson free lots on the north end of town.

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at sfarnell@summitdaily.com.

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