Freeman Cebu Sports

What is a Crit?

ALLEZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

According to the Union Cycliste International, the international governing body of the cycling, Chapter VII, 2.7.002, a crit is, “… is a road race run on a circuit closed to traffic and that is run according to one of the following methods: 1. classification at the finish of the last lap; 2. classification on the basis of the number of laps covered and the number of points obtained during the intermediate sprints. Rule 2.7.016 also states that, “The circuit shall measure between 800 and 10,000 metres. Furthermore, Rule 2.7.017 The maximum distance for the race shall be set as follows: If the maximum distance of the circuit is 800-1599 meters, then the distance should not be more than 80km.  For 1600-2999 meters, 110 km,  3000-3999 meters is 132 km,  4000-10000 meters is 150 km.

Lots of rules to follow and the above is just a part of Crit (short for criterium racing) event. However, if the race is not held under UCI rules, then the organizer can adjust the race mechanics, just like the race in Talisay, Cebu last October when the first 7/10 laps had “primes” or ponggit in local vernacular followed by neutralization. It was only during the last 3 laps that real racing started. It's a stupid rule but cyclists are under the whims of these organizers who don't even race in the first place. On the other hand, if you think the rules are egregious, then it's your right to boycott. 

What is great with crit racing is that the fans don't need to travel far only to see the cyclist whisk by in a few seconds. They can stay in one place with a chair and a drink, or watch the race from a second floor balcony, if the race passes by your place. Fans can see their favorite rider every lap.

While the World Championships is run like a Crit, the distance lap is beyond what is prescribed by the UCI.

I was lucky to see the 2015 Worlds held in Richmond, Virginia and I could see a first class organization, something local organizers can only dream of. The course was 16.22km (max acc to UCI is 10k) and raced 15 laps for a total of 261km. I was there with my brother JC, and my sister Flom, and we walked part of the course to check it out and more importantly, to find a place to relieve ourselves.

Why are Crits so popular? I think there are a few reasons: 1- The area used is just small and therefore easy for the organizer to control the traffic. 2- It's easy for the fans, they just find a good spot and watch the race. 3- It’s fast and dangerous, especially when you are a fan and crashes are part of the sport. Whether you agree or not, fans and people love to see carnage. 4- It can be held downtown, therefore, it's easy for riders to ride to and from the event from where they are billeted. 5- It's just a short event. In fact, in our races at the Mandaue Reclamation, a 15-lap race, which is 2.2km/lap (total 33km) can be raced in just under an hour. If your cat is released early, you can either go home for late breakfast or just watch the other races.

If you want to try crit racing, the place to go is at the Mandaue Reclamation Area. Major Jonas Cortes made sure we all are safe by closing the roads from 5-9AM.

What are you waiting for?

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