ST. GEORGE — Speed and endurance will be on display as Rapid Cycling Racing hosts the first of five races of the “Desert City Crit Series” Saturday at the Canyons Softball Complex in St. George.
Criterium racing consists of several laps around a closed circuit, the length of each lap or circuit varying in length. Saturday’s race goes around the following streets on the southwest side of the Canyons complex: Tuweap Drive, W. 2000 North and N. 2100 West.
This race is the first of five in the series, which will take place every two weeks. On Jan. 21, the racing moves to Ivins, followed by Fort Pierce on Feb. 4, Hurricane on Feb. 18 and back to Fort Pierce for the March 4 finale.
“We are thrilled that Rapid Cycling Racing is continuing its commitment to bringing exciting bike racing to the region for the third year in a row,” St. George area sports commission director Kevin Lewis said. “As a series of USA Cycling, this is a tremendous chance to earn points and advance your ranking.”
The St. George area is a haven to cycling enthusiasts, with some of the most scenic mountain biking venues in the world, including Gooseberry Mesa, the Zen Trail, Bear Claw Poppy and the JEM Trail. Criterium racing, with its frenetic pacing and attacking style, is much different than scenic riding but feeds into the local desire for cycling opportunities.
“The possibilities for cycling in this region are limitless,” Lewis said. “The positive impact it has made on the St. George area has been phenomenal.”
The first wave of racers start at 11 a.m. Spectators are free and welcome at the event.
The cost to register is $35 online at the Rapid Cycling Racing website until Friday. In-person registration on the day of the race is $40.