The Bloomington Criterium is a series of high-speed bicycle races, free kids races, kids zone, and an open containers perimeter, all on the streets of Downtown Bloomington. This unique signature event has been hosted since 2013, and is known among cyclists as “the toughest race in central Illinois”.
Being centrally located in the state and having a great course has brought in hundreds of racers from across the country. The final two races are for the top prize money - the women’s and men's pro races. Both of these races will run for over an hour. During each pro race five primes will be awarded. Primes are awarded for winning laps during the race and provide some mid race excitement. Pros will break the speed limit going over 40 miles per hour on the course which has enough hills, turns and straightaways to please or challenge any racer.
Even if you are not competing, coming to watch the race downtown is fun. Spectators can watch racers turn corners fast and watch racers grimace (happily) while climbing a hill. Downtown Bloomington provides several great viewing places for our spectators.
What is a Criterium?
A criterium, or crit, is a bike race held on a short course often held on blocked-off city streets. The course is short, usually less than 5 km, and is a closed circuit, where riders complete multiple laps. Riders typically race for a given length of time, then complete a specified number of laps. An example would be a race of 60 minutes plus three laps.
In addition to the typical method of determining a winner -- first rider across the finish line -- many crits have prizes that can be won while the race is in progress. Called primes (pronounced "preems"), these are given for winning specific laps along the way and are frequently cash prizes or merchandise. Crits are especially nice for watching in-person as the riders pass by a given point many times over the course of a race.