Twilight Criterium riders ready to hit the streets

July 13, 2013 

The Twilight Criterium, an annual Downtown event since 1987, has a new title sponsor this year in Boise law firm Andersen Banducci, which helped solidify that it would continue by taking over the sponsorship in March.

DARIN OSWALD — Statesman file photo

KIDS RIDE WITH KRISTIN ARMSTRONG

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong of Boise will lead the ride Saturday.

Armstrong will sign autographs at 1 p.m. at a booth on Main Street between 9th and 10th streets before leading the ride at 2.

About 240 children turned out last year.

"Sometimes they'll hand me a helmet with three of my signatures," she said. "They remember and they want to come back."

Armstrong, who retired from professional cycling after winning gold in the time trial in last year's London Games, is now the executive director of community health at St. Luke's.

"I'm really excited to be out there this weekend. I'm still excited to be out there with the kids' race," said Armstrong, who will not race in the Criterium.

MEN'S CHAMPION PRAISES CROWD

One of Downtown Boise's biggest annual events is expected to draw thousands of fans to watch professional and amateur cyclists in a series of races.

The event is free.

"The crowd is just amazing … the home stretch gets almost deafening," said Hilton Clarke, the 2008 and 2012 champion who is entered in this year's field. "It isn't supposed to rain, so I'm excited to see a huge crowd again.''

Clarke was the 2012 USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar champion, and leads the series again this year.

HOW TODAY'S LINEUP WORKS

The women's professional race starts at 7 p.m. and lasts a timed 60 minutes, followed by a final, furious five-lap finish.

For the men's pros, who race at 8:15 p.m., they ride for 90 minutes, then finish with five laps.

The non-pro races during the day last 30 to 45 minutes followed by a one-lap finish.

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