Tampa’s 6th annual Gaspirilla Criterium & Cycling Festival is here and it’s bigger and better than ever. What’s a criterium? It’s a bike race – but not just any garden-variety bike race. Criterium-style bike racing uses a short course – in this case, just one kilometer – and riders circle the course multiple times at incredibly high speeds – over 35 miles per hour. Because the riders follow a short course, criterium – or crit – races are especially spectator-friendly, and those who line the raceway can expect to be “wowed” by the sheer speed of the colorful athletes as they fly past.
More than 500 cyclists will take part in both professional and amateur races, and spectators who want the best view of the race and its finish line can buy a VIP ticket which guarantees them a spot in the hospitality tent. VIP ticket holders enjoy other amenities including complimentary food and beverages and special perks, like autograph sessions with professional cyclists.
While the bike races may be the centerpiece of the day’s event, they are by no means the only attractions. With street vendors, an interactive sports and wellness expo, and more, the Cigar City Criterium & Street Festival is one of Tampa’s most family-friendly events. For those who find running more to their liking, the festival offers an event crafted especially for them – the tbt*Beer Dash, a 3-kilometer race that follows the same course used by the cyclists.
Of course, the creators of the Cigar City Criterium & Street Festival understand that being a spectator isn’t all fun and games – an average person will burn more than 120 calories per hour while they’re hard at work watching those cyclists! To satisfy all those grumbling tummies, the racecourse was designed to wind its way past many of the city’s best eateries and on race day, they’ll all be ready and awaiting to serve you. When you get thirsty, don’t forget to stop by the “portable” Cigar City Brewery and raise a glass of Criterium Ale to mark the day.