USA Crits - Speed Week

Just been reading a blog (think it’s a blog), on Speed Week and it sounds both absolutely insane and brilliant at the same time. Has anybody ever attended or even raced these events?

3 Likes

Everyone I know it seems but, me. :poop:

:rofl: You’ve still got plenty of time I sure.

Bit far for me to travel, just for a crit, but I’d be tempted to work it into a holiday, if my license was accepted.

It’s really hard with my schedule. Mainly, I never know what days I work until the 16th of the month prior and I live in Phoenix. I can never get vacation in the summer either so to travel for a day or two of racing is a no go.

Haven’t done Athens, but have done Gateway Cup in St. Louis. That is a blast. If you like crits, I’d suggest giving this a go. Four days - first two days are pretty chill. Last two days are my favorite.
Tulsa Tough is also a must do.

3 Likes

I’ve done a handful of races of speed week, but never Athens (yet - I’m planning to attend this year).

In my experience, competitively most of the races are similar to most high profile national-level criteriums in the U.S. like Tulsa Tough, Pro/Amateur Nationals, PRT races, Tour of America’s Dairyland, etc. The fields are big, fast, and take a lot of experience to stay at the front and contribute to the race. The number of “matches” you have to burn in these races is much lower than you would have in a lower level race.

Overall, speed week’s atmosphere is pretty good, there are a decent number of fans and the production value is high. However, from the first-hand accounts I’ve heard Athens is by far and away an experience to itself and easily tops the rest of the races of the week (and possibly the year). If it’s feasible for you to race/attend, I think it’s definitely worth the experience.

1 Like

So glad to see folks interested in Speed Week! I’m Megan from USA CRITS. We’re in the process of finalizing all the races for this season (both Series and Speed Week) and should have a SW calendar out soon.

If you want to be given a heads up on the schedule, shoot me an email – megan@usacrits.com – and I’ll be sure you are notified of the schedule and how you can jump on board! We’d love to have everyone join us!

And I may be biased because I live in Athens, but Twilight is by far the fastest, most insane, most exciting time on two wheels. 30,000+ friends and family crammed into downtown Athens, GA for bike races under the lights. Expo, food vendors, flowing beer, plus a fun ride and 5K and kids events…long story long, It’s good times. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Hi Megan,

I’m UK based and only really posted this up because it sounded brilliant and bonkers at the same time!

It’s a long shot but… if I were able to make the trip in the not too distant future, would a UK race licence be accepted? As I’m sure you know, British Cycling issue our licences and I have race insurance, if that’s also a requirement.

Yes! You can race the week with a UK license, as long as it’s a 2019 one. We have lots of foreign riders participate each year! You will also need a letter of authority (USA Cycling calls them Foreign Permission Letters, so whatever the official equivalent is in the UK is what you need) to race here, and I know you can request that from British Cycling –
membership@britishcycling.org.uk

1 Like

StL guy here and always glad to hear people rave about Gateway Cup! It’s the best weekend of the year and each race has such a different vibe to it. I maybe bias on the Giro one (I’m Italian and used to live on The Hill), if you make it this season come to the Maplewood Bicycle tent and say hi.

Giro was by far my favorite.
Maplewood did very well in our group. I think even winning two of the four days. I can’t remember. Oh yeah, the food was phenomenal. I’ll be sure to stop by!

Speed Week is absolutely awesome! I’m planning to race Spartenburg, Athens, and Commerce (if that one happens again) P1/2 for the first time. I’ve done the Masters and 2/3 races and they are a blast. Also, Athens has an Amateur finals race that is 30 minutes long and starts before the women P1/2. They take the top placing finishers in all of the morning/afternoon races and qualify them for the Am Finals…theres usually over 100 starters. There’s also Street Sprints going on all afternoon where you can win prizes and qualify for AM Finals.

1 Like