TAMPA, Florida (February 25, 2014)- Over 600 cyclists and 20,000 spectators will descend upon downtown Tampa for the sixth annual Gasparilla Criterium + Cycling Festival presented by Cigar City Brewing and Bright House Networks on Saturday, March 29 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. One of Florida’s premiere cycling events and part of the USA CRITS Championship Series, the Gasparilla Criterium + Cycling Festival features a full day of fun and intense action, including men’s and women’s professional criterium races in the evening and the Cycling, Multi-sport, Health and Wellness Expo presented by SeaSucker Bicycle Racks and Reeves Import Motorcars throughout day. Also scheduled during the event are amateur criterium races, children’s races, the tbt* 3K Beer Dash, and an autograph session with pro cyclists.
“This event is a real economic driver for Tampa. Since its start in 2009, the event has given both cycling enthusiasts and casual fans the opportunity to get up close in personal with the athletes and enjoy an exhilarating race”, Gasparilla Criterium + Cycling Festival race director David Green said. “The Cycling, Multi-sport, Health and Wellness Expo gives cycling industry professionals a great opportunity to come down to Florida, enjoy great weather and receive excellent exposure in front of an avid group of cycling fanatics and outdoor-oriented people.”
The Gasparilla Criterium + Cycling Festival will kick off on Thursday, March 27th with a screening of “Cheetah- the Nelson Vails Story” at CineBistro. Vails was a silver medalist in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California and is the first African-American cyclist to earn this honor. The event will benefit onbikes (http://onbikes.org/), a non-profit organization in Tampa that introduces cycling to at-risk children. Vails will be a part of a question and answer session following the screening. The screening will be followed by the “Gateway to the Weekend Kick-off Party” at the Epicurean Hotel.
Race day at the Gasparilla Criterium + Cycling Festival will begin at 10 a.m. with the Cycling, Multi-sport, Outdoor, Health Wellness, Green Initiatives Expo presented by SeaSucker Bicycle Racks and Reeves Import Motorcars at Lykes Gaslight (410 N. Franklin St., Tampa, FL 33602) and Curtis Hixon (600 N. Ashley Dr.Tampa, FL 33602) parks. The expo will feature innovative vendors, demonstrating their newest products and providing giveaways.
Families will have a chance to get into the action at the Kids Criterium & Family Fun Ride presented by Glazer Children’s Museum, starting at 4:00 p.m. at Lykes Gaslight Park. Registration is free and parents can sign their children up for the race at the expo, starting at 2:30 p.m. Helmets are required; bicycles, big wheels and tricycles are encouraged.
Throughout the day there will be a number of activities for cycling fans and athletes to enjoy. Amateur criterium races will start off the day at 10:00 a.m. and run until approximately 4:30 p.m. The irreverent and always spirited tbt* 3K Beer Dash follows at 4:30 p.m. for amateur runners and lovers of craft beer. The race is a 3K fun run that takes place on the criterium course. Registration for the tbt* 3K Beer Dash is $20.00 in advance ($25.00 on race day). All participants will receive a complimentary Cigar City Brewing Beer (runners 21 and older only) and a commemorative T-shirt, along with beer discounts at the post race Pro Criterium Watch Party!
At 4:45 p.m., male and female handcyclists will compete in road competitions for athletes with physical disabilities. The athletes are a part of the U.S. Handcycling Federation and the race will take place on the criterium course.
The Lifetime Corporate Team Charity Relay presented by the Tampa Bay Business Journal will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Lykes Gaslight Park. 25 teams will raise money for onbikes (http://onbikes.org/) and race for bragging rights in a fun competition. Teams can register at https://tampacrit.launchtrack.com.
Athletes racing in the professional criterium races will be available to sign autographs from 5:15-5:45 p.m. at the expo.
The professional races will begin at 7 p.m. with the Women’s Professional Criterium Race. The Men’s Professional Criterium Race follows at approximately 8 p.m., capping an amazing day of race action.
The criterium races will begin and end at the corner of Tampa and Madison Streets. From the starting line, cyclists will travel south on Tampa Street to Kennedy Boulevard where cyclists will turn east (left). The course will turn north (left) on to Franklin Street where cyclists will treat spectators and restaurant patrons to a dazzling array of speed and racing precision. The cyclists will also zip pass the Criterium Bier Garden and Expo, also located on Franklin Street. After turning west (left) on Polk Street, cyclists turn south (left) on Tampa Street where they will race up to 40 miles per hour on the long straight away approaching the start/finish line.
All Gasparilla Criterium + Cycling Festival events are free for spectators. For cycling fans looking to take their experience to the next level, VIP packages are available. VIP packages include pit passes, premium event seating and complimentary food and beer from Cigar City Brewery. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.tampacrit.com/vip/.
About Gasparilla Criterium + Cycling Festival presented by Cigar City Brewing and Bright House Networks
Gasparilla Criterium + Cycling Festival, one of Florida’s premiere cycling events and part of the USA Criterium Championship Series, is a fun-filled, action-packed celebration of cycling and will take place each March in downtown Tampa. The festival features professional men’s and women’s criterium races, amateur races, the Cycling, Multi-sport, Outdoor, Health Wellness, Green Initiatives Expo presented SeaSucker Bicycle Racks and Reeves Import Motorcars, and the tbt* 3K Beer Dash. For more information, please visit www.tampacrit.com. For sponsorship and expo information contact David Green at 813.280.1444813.280.1444 or email@example.com.