Officials with Visit El Paso announced Monday that El Paso will kick off the 2019 USA CRITS racing season with the inaugural 2019 Sun City CRIT event in downtown El Paso on Saturday, March 30, 2019.
“The free and open to the public event will bring the energy and excitement of world-class cycling to downtown El Paso for the first time,” officials shared via an emailed news release.
The Sun City CRIT is the first of a 10-race season spanning March through September that showcases some of the world’s best bike racers across the United States.
“We are delighted to host the first-ever Sun City CRIT and what’s more exciting is that it will make El Paso its home for the next five years. We couldn’t more thrilled about how hosting these visitors and participants will have an incredible and positive impact on our hotels, restaurants, retailer and attractions.” said Bryan Crowe, General Manager of Destination El Paso. “From our excellent weather to our extraordinary hospitality, El Paso is the ideal location to host this group of exceptional athletes and we look forward to making our city a home that they will come back to year after year.”
A Criterium or CRIT is a unique form of cycling that stresses high-speed races contested amidst a thriving urban atmosphere for a specific number of laps on a closed course. Hundreds of riders will be racing at speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour around a .7mile/1K course around San Jacinto Plaza.
The Sun City CRIT will have bike races for all ages and ability levels from kids to professionals throughout the day on Saturday March 30th, a detailed schedule is available online. Additionally, a 5K run is scheduled to kickoff the day at 10 a.m.
As part of the Sun City CRIT, the Project Hero Para+ Cycling Race will take place on Saturday, March 30th from 4:00pm-5:00pm at East Main and North Mesa in downtown El Paso.
2018 USA CRITS Series Men’s Champion – David Guttenplan from the Support Clean Sport Cycling Team who resides in Clearwater, Florida – will be on hand to defend his title for 2019 against the powerful Team Clif Bar who finished in both second and third positions overall as well as taking the Team Title with Connor Mullervy and Zack Allison in what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons in Series history.
On the Women’s side, Multi-time National Champion – Tina Pic from Gainesville, GA – leads the powerful Colavita/Bialetti Pro Cycling Team who were the Team Champions in 2018 and are hoping to repeat that success this season.
Each event is televised live and on demand at USACRITS.TV and collectively features $200,000 in prize money equally for both men and women.
Spectators can also take part in Sun City Craft Beer Fest on March 30-31 happening simultaneously at the Convention Center Plaza.
The festival will feature over 170 beers, human foosball, live music, local food trucks, a liquor lounge and various fun and games throughout the festival footprint. For more information, please visit the beer fest website.
An earlier version of this story did not give credit to the photographer, whose pictures are seen above and below. Thanks so much to Rebecca Reza for providing the photos.